Northrop Grumman said April 25 its first-quarter profit fell 4.5 percent, as drops in U.S. defense spending reduced sales at its major businesses.
The Falls Church, Va.,-based defense contractor earned $506 million, or $1.96 per share, down from $530 million, or $1.79 per share, in the same quarter last year.
The year-ago period was boosted by $34 million in earnings from discontinued operations mainly related to the March spinoff of Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.
Excluding pension-related items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit from continuing operations of $1.88 per share.
The profit beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.59 per share, according to a FactSet poll.
Sales fell 8 percent to $6.2 billion from $6.73 billion, while analysts expected $6.26 billion in revenue.
Aerospace sales fell 8.1 percent to $2.38 billion on lower demand from military aircraft and space programs, while sales of information systems dropped 8.9 percent to $1.84 billion, as the U.S. military reduced its troop presence overseas.
The company repurchased 4.4 million shares during the quarter and said $1.4 billion remains on its current share buyback authorization.
Northrop Grumman said it now expects to post a full-year profit of between $6.70 and $6.95 per share, up from its previous prediction of $6.40 to $6.70 per share. The company also said it still expects to post sales of between $24.7 billion and $25.4 billion for the year.
Analysts polled by FactSet expect a 2012 profit of $6.57 per share on $25.08 billion in sales. AP