News Briefs – July 29, 2016


Northrop Grumman tops second quarter forecasts

Northrop Grumman on July 27 reported second-quarter net income of $517 million.
On a per-share basis, the Falls Church, Virginia-based company said it had net income of $2.85. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were $2.60 per share.
The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.50 per share.
The defense contractor posted revenue of $6 billion in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $6.07 billion.
Northrop Grumman expects full-year earnings to be $10.75 to $11 per share, with revenue in the range of $23.5 billion to $24 billion.
Northrop Grumman shares have climbed 16 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 6 percent. The stock has climbed 34 percent in the last 12 months. AP

China, Russia plan joint military drills in South China Sea

China’s military said July 28 it will hold joint exercises with Russian forces in the South China Sea, following a recent arbitration ruling that rejected Beijing’s claim to almost the entire strategic body of water.
The air and sea drills will be held sometime in September and were aimed at deepening relations between the two militaries and boosting their capacity to respond to maritime threats, ministry spokesman Col. Yang Yujun said at a monthly news briefing.
Yang said the exercises weren’t targeted at any third parties. He didn’t disclose the specific location, and some areas of the South China Sea are not disputed.
Chinese ships have challenged vessels from the U.S., the Philippines and other nations in disputed waters, and China considers the tribunal’s ruling earlier this month to be invalid.
Russia and China have held numerous joint drills in recent years, united in a desire to stem American power in the Asia-Pacific region, despite their own lingering mistrust over territory and influence in Central Asia.
Russia has also spoken in support of China’s rejection of the move by the Philippines to bring the South China Sea case before the international arbitration body in the Hague, the Netherlands, and argued that countries without a direct claim to territory should stay impartial, in a reference to the U.S., which has called on China to accept the ruling as binding.
In the wake of the ruling, China held live-firing exercises and said it would launch regular air patrols over the South China Sea while continuing with the construction of man-made islands equipped with harbors, airstrips and other infrastructure with military uses.
It has also launched a diplomatic campaign to denigrate the ruling that has so far persuaded other Southeast Asian countries that have similar disputes with it to back away. China kept any mention of the judgment from appearing in a joint communique from issued at the conclusion July 26 of a meeting between it and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Six governments in all claim territory in the South China Sea. China says all disputes should be settled bilaterally through negotiations. AP

Turkish military faces overhaul after failed coup

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is set to chair a top-level military meeting that is likely to lead to a major shake-up within the country’s armed forces following a failed coup by renegade military officers.
The Supreme Military Council meets a day after Turkey discharged close to 1,700 officers, including 149 generals and admirals. The council, which decides on promotions and retirements, was expected to announce more dismissals July 28.
Turkey declared a state of emergency following the coup attempt and nearly 16,000 people were detained over suspected links to the failed uprising. Tens of thousands of state employees have been dismissed for alleged ties to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of masterminding the coup.
Arrest warrants were issued for 89 journalists and dozens of media organizations were ordered shuttered. AP