Northrop Grumman profit beats, forecasts 2019 outlook below estimates

(Reuters) - Northrop Grumman topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday driven by higher sales in its aerospace and mission systems units, but the U.S. weapons maker forecast 2019 profit and revenue below estimates.

FILE PHOTO - The corporate logo of Northrop Grumman is shown on a Fire Scout MQ-8 B unmanned helicopter during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The company forecast 2019 profit between $18.50 and $19.00 per share, below the average analysts’ expectations of $19.49 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

The company expects revenue of about $34 billion for the full year 2019, slightly below analyst estimates of $34.21 billion.

Northrop, like its U.S. peers Lockheed and Boeing, will benefit if President Donald Trump makes good on suggestions, floated by officials last month, to raise the U.S. defense budget to $750 billion this year.

Sales at Northrop's aerospace unit, which makes the center fuselage for fighter jets including Lockheed Martin's F-35, climbed 5.9 percent to $3.19 billion. (

Revenue at its mission systems unit, which makes radars and acoustic sensors, rose 2.2 percent to $3.04 billion.

Revenue rose 24.5 percent to $8.16 billion.

Net income for the maker of Global Hawk surveillance planes fell to $356 million, or $2.06 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $672 million, or $3.83 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Northrop earned $4.93 per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $4.32 per share on a revenue of $8.12 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber