March 31, 2010 / 1:21 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-UPDATE 1-U.S. health overhaul to hit corporate profits

(Adds Lockheed Martin, Ingersoll-Rand Plc)

March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. companies have started to tally the financial hit they say they will take as a result of the U.S. healthcare overhaul signed into law last week by President Barack Obama.

The government continues to pay subsidies to large companies, including AT&T Inc (T.N), Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) and Deere & Co (DE.N), to help pay for prescription drug benefits for their large ranks of retirees. [ID:nHEALTH]

However, the revamped law no longer allows companies to deduct the amount of the subsidies from their taxable income. Corporate America complains that the change amounts to a tax increase, while the White House says it essentially closes a tax loophole.

Not all big companies are warning of trouble. General Electric Co (GE.N), for example, says it does not expect a “significant material impact” on its first-quarter results.

But a number of large U.S. employers have started detailing the expected hit to their bottom line.

The latest warnings came on Wednesday from No. 2 planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N), which said it would take a $150 million charge related to the change, and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), the world’s biggest defense contractor, which expects to book a related charge of $96 million after-tax.

The tally so far:

* AT&T said it would record a $1 billion noncash charge for the first quarter and evaluate prospective changes to the healthcare benefits it offers to both active and retired workers. [ID:nN26192636]

* Deere, a maker of farm equipment, said it expected to record a $150 million charge, mostly in its current fiscal second quarter. The expense was not included in the company’s earlier 2010 forecast, which called for net income of about $1.3 billion. [ID:nN25216862]

* Boeing said it would take an income tax charge of $150 million, or 20 cents per share, against first-quarter results. The impact of the change was not factored into the company’s previous forecast. [ID:nN31202447]

* Lockheed Martin said it expected to record a $96 million after-tax charge in the first quarter, which would translate to around 25 cents per share. [ID:nN31242589]

* Caterpillar described the regulatory change as a tax increase. It said accounting standards required the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment to book a $100 million after-tax charge to reflect the change during the first quarter. [ID:nN24185079]

* No. 2 life insurer Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N) said it expected a $100 million charge during the first quarter. [ID:nWNAB4727]

* 3M Co (MMM.N), which makes products ranging from Post-It notes to optical films for flat-panel televisions, will record a one-time, noncash charge of up to $90 million, or 12 cents per share. [ID:nN26208452]

* Honeywell International Inc (HON.N) estimated in January that healthcare reform would trim its first-quarter earnings 4 cents to 5 cents per share. But the diversified manufacturer raised its first-quarter outlook to 45 cents to 49 cents per share from a prior range of 40 cents to 45 cents even after including the one-time charge of $13 million related to the healthcare legislation. [ID:nSGE62T0KD]

* AK Steel Holding Corp (AKS.N) will record a noncash charge of about $31 million in the first quarter due to a reduction in the value of its deferred tax asset as a result of a change to the tax treatment of Medicare Part D reimbursements. [ID:nWNAB2847]

* Diversified manufacturer ITW said it would take a $22 million charge for the change, lowering its first-quarter earnings per share by 4 cents. [ID:nN30186804]

* Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N) said it expected to take a charge of $15 million to $20 million in the first quarter due to the new healthcare legislation, and it expects more tax costs to be calculated later. [ID:nN26150538]

* Aircraft parts supplier Goodrich Corp GR.N sees a first-quarter charge of about $10 million, or 8 cents per share. [ID:nN31245893]

* Metals processor Allegheny Technologies Inc (ATI.N) looks for a first-quarter, one-time, noncash charge of about $5 million, or 5 cents per share, due to the new healthcare law. [ID:nWNAB4692]

* Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR.N), a maker of air compressors and cooling systems, expects to record a non-cash charge of $41 million, or 12 cents a share, related to the healthcare overhaul. (Additional reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Editing by Bernard Orr, Maureen Bavdek, Lisa Von Ahn, Gary Hill)

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