Lockheed lowers 2022 revenue outlook on charges, F-35 headwinds

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WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) - U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) lowered its 2022 revenue and earnings per share targets on Tuesday after F-35 fighter jet sales fell amid pandemic-related headwinds and as losses at its venture arm and other one-time charges piled up.

Quarterly sales at Lockheed's largest unit, Aeronautics, which makes the F-35, fell 12% to $5.8 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Jay Malave told Reuters in an interview the program had been hurt by the end of some federal funding, while supply chain issues had hit the aeronautics unit broadly.

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Lockheed and the Pentagon on Monday agreed to a three-year deal for F-35s that will provide new funding to the program. read more

Only three months ago Lockheed gave guidance for full-year earnings per share of $26.70 but on Tuesday cut its target 19% to $21.55 as it lowered its sales outlook 1.1% from $66 billion to $65.25 billion. Lockheed maintained its expectations for business segment operating profit.

Malave said issues stemming from the winter and early spring COVID-19 outbreaks had hit Lockheed and its suppliers, slowing production.

There were pandemic and workforce-related delays on F-16 fighter production as well, but Malave said that new allied interest in F-16s had surged in recent months from potentially 300 units to as many as 500.

Lockheed posted $1.16 in earnings per diluted share for the quarter, versus analysts estimates of $1.71, according to Refinitiv data.

But Malave said one-time charges, such as a $0.40 per share mark-to-market loss at the company's venture business and a $0.10 per share charge for debt refinancing, were headwinds for the Bethesda, Maryland company.

Profits at the Missiles and Fire Control unit, which makes High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), were $418 million, up 4% on the same quarter a year earlier.

Malave said that the company was looking at production rate increases at its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) facility as well as for HIMARS as interest and inquiries about those systems increase on the back of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Still, he cautioned that increased interest in the products would take time to turn into revenue. "I think the things to look for, for Lockheed Martin, will be the orders activity as well as our backlog growth over the next two years. And then that will convert into revenues beyond that."

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Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Bradley Perrett

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