Lockheed Martin reports solid earnings. It was not about the war in Ukraine.

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Share buybacks increase Lockheed Martin’s earnings per share.

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Defense company’s latest figures

Lockheed Martin

showed the resilience of the industry. They also highlighted how companies can increase earnings per share when sales are not growing by repurchasing shares.

Lockheed (ticker: LMT) reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $7.79 on sales of $19 billion, ending a year in which sales were generally down. In the fourth quarter of last year, Lockheed reported earnings of $7.47 per share on sales of $17.7 billion.

The quarterly figures were solid, with Wall Street expecting $7.40 per share out of $18.3 billion in sales.

This year, the company expects to earn an EPS of about $26.75 on revenue of about $65.5 billion. Analyst projections currently imply an EPS of $27.14 on sales of $65.8 billion.

“There are no surprises in the 2023 outlook,” Rob Stallard, an analyst at Vertical Research Partners, wrote in the report. “It’s been a while since we could say that the defense company beat our revenue forecast for the quarter, so the company deserves credit for that.”

Ukraine’s conflict with Russia deserves some credit for improving sales. Congress has allocated billions for the military needs of Ukraine.

The outlook for 2023 was close to Wall Street’s expectations and investors seemed pleased. Lockheed shares rose 0.4%.

S&P 500


Dow Jones industrial index

decreased by about 0.3% and 0.1%, respectively.

That’s a solid reaction given how much the stock has risen. Over the past 12 months, Lockheed shares are up about 18%, about 25 percentage points higher than the market as a whole.

Lockheed Martin

A stronger-than-expected end to the year demonstrated the company’s reliability and resilience to deliver on commitments in challenging environments, as well as leadership in important industry advancements in security for our nation and allies,” CEO James Teiklet said in a press release. “Our ongoing 21st century empowerment and commercial partnerships provide containment solutions and add value to growth opportunities across our entire business.”

Investors will hear more from Tycle on Tuesday. Management is holding a conference call at 11:00 AM ET to discuss the results. Analysts and investors will want to hear about plans to boost sales.

In 2022, Lockheed’s sales were about $66 billion, up from $67 billion in 2021. Sales are expected to decline again in 2023.

Despite this decline, earnings per share are expected to rise nearly 20% between 2021 and 2023, in part because Lockheed is buying back shares. In 2022, the company spent nearly $8 billion on share buybacks. The weighted average number of diluted shares outstanding fell to about 265 million in 2022 from about 277 million at the end of 2021.

Earnings per share in 2022 was $27.23 compared to $26.75 in 2021.

Email Al Root at [email protected]

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