News Briefs – October 30, 2015

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Northrop Grumman tops Street 3Q forecasts, boosts outlook

Northrop Grumman reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and raised its guidance for the year, a day after winning a contract worth up to $80 billion to build new bombers for the Air Force.
Profit rose 9 percent to $516 million, or $2.75 per share. The Falls Church, Va.,-based company said earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $2.41 per share.
The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.21 per share.
The defense contractor reported flat revenue of $5.98 billion, also surpassing Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $5.84 billion.
The company boosted its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $9.70 to $9.80 per share from prior guidance of $9.55 to $9.70 per share. It narrowed its revenue guidance to between $23.6 billion and $23.8 billion. Previously, the low end of that range was $23.4 billion.
The Air Force, under its contract with Northrop, will buy 100 of the new bombers at a newly calculated average cost of $564 million each. The contract awarded is for an initial set of 21 planes, plus $23.5 billion in engineering and development costs. The estimated total cost to develop and purchase the full fleet would be $80 billion.
Northrop shares climbed $11.27, or 6.2 percent, to $191.87 in premarket trading about two hours before the market opening. Its shares have risen 23 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has stayed nearly flat. The stock has increased 38 percent in the last 12 months. AP
 

Danish F-16 jet fighter crashes in North Sea, pilot safe

The Danish military says an air force F-16 fighter jet crashed in the North Sea off western Denmark.
The military says the pilot ejected safely under “controlled circumstances” and was picked up at sea by a helicopter.
The civilian Accident Investigation Board said Wednesday it is investigating the cause the Oct. 27 crash off the island of Fanoe.
The jet fighter was on a training flight when the pilot reported technical troubles. The pilot then emptied the jet fighter’s fuel tanks over the North Sea before ejecting.
Denmark is expected to announce later this year what type of jet fighters will replace the Scandinavian NATO-member’s aging fleet of F-16s. Until recently, Denmark had seven F-16 fighter jets in the international coalition combating the Islamic State extremist group. AP