Lockheed Martin third quarter profits top $1.6 billion amid Camden expansion

by Wesley Brown (wesbrocomm@gmail.com) 262 views 

Lockheed Martin Corp., which broke ground in September on the first of many expansions at the company’s industrial site in Camden, Ark., on Tuesday (Oct. 22) posted earnings that were well above Wall Street expectations as the U.S. government continues to fund the company’s key Pentagon-backed programs.

For the period ended Sept. 30, the Bethesda, Md.-based defense contractor reported third quarter net income of $1.6 billion, or $5.66 per share, compared to $1.5 billion, or $5.14 per share, in the third quarter of 2018. Total net sales from the company’s four business segments, which includes Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control (MFC), Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) and Space, rose 6.3% to nearly $15.2 billion, compared to $14.3 billion in the same period of 2018.

Company officials said cash from operations in the third quarter spiked 315% to $2.5 billion from $361 million the same period of 2018, mainly because of pension contributions of $1.5 billion a year ago. A consensus of 19 defense industry analysts forecasted the nation’s largest defense contractor to report third quarter earnings of $5.02 on sales of nearly $14.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

“The Corporation achieved exceptional operational and financial results in the second quarter,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Marillyn Hewson. “Our strong performance enabled us to increase our financial guidance for sales, profit, earnings per share and cash from operations, and positions the company to deliver more value to our customers and shareholders.”

Company officials said increased revenues were primarily attributable to higher net sales of nearly $200 million for the company’s tactical and strike missile programs. Lockheed’s integrated air and missile defense programs also saw increased revenue of $120 million, including foreign sales of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) that are partly manufactured in south Arkansas.

A month ago, top Lockheed Martin executives traveled to Camden to break ground on the new Long Range Fires Production Facility. That ground-breaking followed Gov. Asa Hutchinson to the Paris Air Show in June, where he met company officials to announce the company’s $142 million investment in its Camden facility, adding 326 new jobs by 2024.

The newly created jobs will grow the Camden facility workforce from approximately 650 employees to more than 900 employees in the next few years, officials. Once construction is complete by the beginning of 2021, the new Long Range facility will add more than 70,000-square-feet of production and office space to the current property in Highland Industrial Park, supporting increased orders for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), the Low-Cost Reduced-Range Practice Rocket (LCRRPR) and other associated work.

“This new building represents Lockheed Martin’s long-standing commitment to meeting our customers’ current and future needs, as well as bringing more high-paying jobs to the Camden area,” said Justin Routon, site director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s facility in Camden. “Our facility has a long record of precision manufacturing and on-time deliveries, which is the reason Lockheed Martin continues to invest in our Camden Operations and this is an exciting first step in our expansion process.”

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