* Northrop Q1 EPS $1.53 vs. estimate $1.32
* General Dynamics EPS cont ops $1.54 vs. estimate $1.51
* Northrop boosts outlook
* Northrop stock up 1.4 pct; General Dynamics down 0.5 pct
ATLANTA, April 28 Defense contractors Northrop
Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and General Dynamics (GD.N) posted
better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday as
segments that had been a drag on performance showed signs of
Northrop Grumman raised its full-year outlook, and its
stock rose more than 1 percent. Shares of General Dynamics,
whose revenue trailed expectations, were off less than 1
At Northrop, the shipbuilding division turned in a 25
percent sales increase and a 26 percent rise in operating
profit. Northrop has been working to turn around this
operation, where quality issues have resulted in quarterly
charges in the past.
Northrop, which also makes unmanned spy planes, said
first-quarter net earnings rose 21 percent to $469 million as
it benefited from decreases in its share count and pension
Per-share profit of $1.53 beat the analysts' average
estimate by 21 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 8.5 percent to $8.61 billion, above analysts'
estimates of $8.07 billion. [ID:nN27118712]
IMPROVING AEROSPACE HELPS
In General Dynamics' first-quarter results, a decrease in
operating costs had helped offset lower revenue as war-related
product demand slowed. [ID:nN28154593]
The business jet division had a 6.7 percent sales decline,
but posted 9 percent rise in operating earnings. Margins in
that division, which has suffered from weak demand in the
recession, improved to 16.1 percent from 13.7 percent a year
General Dynamics' net earnings edged up 1.2 percent to $597
million, or $1.53 a share.
Excluding discontinued operations, profit was $1.54 a
share, beating analysts' forecasts by 3 cents.
Revenue fell 6 percent to $7.75 billion, below analysts'
estimates of $8.15 billion.
Among divisions, revenue in the combat systems unit, which
provides tanks, was down 17 percent, while aerospace revenue
fell about 7 percent. Operating costs and expenses fell 7
General Dynamics shares were off 0.5 percent at $76.15 in
morning trading, while Northrop Grumman rose 1.4 percent to
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)