|Lockheed Martin Boosts 2020 Guidance|
8:40 am ET January 28, 2020 (Dow Jones) Print
By Doug Cameron
Lockheed Martin Corp. on Tuesday forecast another year of record sales following booming demand in the U.S. and overseas for its combat jets, missiles and classified satellites.
The world's largest defense company by sales raised existing guidance for 2020 revenue and profits as it works through a backlog of $144 billion and prepares for two big Pentagon competitions for military helicopters that analysts said could be worth $100 billion to the winners.
Lockheed Martin's footprint across air, space, sea and land systems makes it a proxy for Pentagon spending, with U.S. government outlays soaring 23% in the final quarter of 2019 from a year earlier.
The company reported profits of $1.5 billion in the December quarter compared with $1.3 billion a year earlier. Per-share earnings rose to $5.29 from $4.39, well above the $5.03 consensus among analysts polled by FactSet.
Lockheed Martin expects sales to rise to $63.5 billion this year, based on the midpoint of its new guidance, some $1.5 billion above its prior forecast. Profits are forecast at between $23.65 and $23.95 a share, and free cash flow guidance was also increased.
The heightened threat environment -- especially in the Middle East -- has boosted shares across the defense sector, with Lockheed Martin in record territory, closing Monday at $432.38, valuing the company at $122 billion.