Boeing, General Dynamics and United Technologies Exceed Expectations

Despite beating estimates, Boeing reported an 11% drop in earnings.
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reported an 11% drop in its first-quarter earnings, depressed in part by a 40-day engineers' strike that affected aircraft deliveries, but the company's results still exceeded Wall Street's reduced estimates.

Two other big aerospace and military-contracting companies --

General Dynamics

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United Technologies

-- reported earnings increases that beat analysts' expectations. But



posted an anticipated decline in profits for the quarter.

Seattle-based Boeing posted first-quarter net income of $418 million, or 48 cents a diluted share, compared with $469 million, or 50 cents a share, in the period last year. The results beat

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimates for earnings of 35 cents a share, which had been reduced from 56 cents before the strike.

Shares of Boeing were up Wednesday afternoon 2 1/4, or 6.5%, to 37. (Boeing closed up 2 1/2, or 7%, at 37 1/4.)

Those results included $59 million, or 7 cents a share, in gains from the sale of certain assets and interest payments. Excluding the items, the company earned 41 cents a share.

Total revenues for the Boeing fell dropped 31%, to $9.9 billion, from $14.4 billion the year earlier. The company said the labor strike reduced the number of planes it was able to deliver to 75 from the planned 125. The company delivered 148 planes a year earlier.

But revenues would have still fallen year-over-year, even without the strike, the company said. It estimated that first-quarter revenues would have totaled $12.5 billion had it not been for the strike, still a 13% decline. By sector, commercial airplanes revenue dropped by 47%, military aircraft and missiles were down 2% and space and communications revenues were up 8%.

In a conference call, Phil Condit, Boeing's chairman and chief executive, said competitive pricing would keep revenue growth modest over the next three years, but he expected to see operating margins to improve during that period.

The results from the other companies were mixed.

United Technologies, parent of such companies as Otis Elevator and Flight Systems, said first-quarter net earnings increased 22%, to $377 million, or 74 cents a diluted share, compared with $308 million, or 63 cents a share the prior year. Those numbers beat First Call estimates of 72 cents a share. Revenues rose to 17%, to $6.4 billion. The Hartford, Conn.-based company expressed confidence in earnings estimates of $3.50 a share in 2000. Shares of United Technologies were up 3 9/16, or 6%, at 61 5/8 afternoon trading. (United Technologies closed up 3 1/16, or 5%, at 61 1/8.)

General Dynamics, maker of the Seawolf submarine and M-1 tank, said first-quarter net earnings rose 16%, to $184 million, or 91 cents a diluted share vs. $158 million or 78 cents a share a year earlier, beating First Call estimates of 88 cents a share. The Falls Church, Va.-based company said profits were driven by strong performance of its Gulfstream corporate jet unit and in the information systems segment. Revenues rose 28%, to $2.55 billion, from $2 billion, including several acquisitions. Shares of General Dynamics were up 52 7/8, or 5.7%, at 53 1/8 in afternoon trading. (General Dynamics closed up 1 3/4, or 3%, at 52.)

Raytheon reported a slight dip in revenues, and a sharp drop in operational earnings. The Lexington, Mass-based company reported that first-quarter operational income dropped 67%, to $80 million, or 24 cents a diluted share from $240 million, or 71 cents a diluted share a year earlier. The results met Wall Street's expectations. The company said slower missile sales and higher costs at its aircraft unit hurt revenues and earnings. The results did not include losses from the company's engineers and constructors unit, which it recently agreed to sell. The company expects full-year earnings of $1.40 to $1.55 a diluted share, slightly below First Call's forecast for $1.65 a share. Raytheon's stock was down 3/16, or 0.9%, at 20 1/8 in afternoon trading. (Raytheon closed down 3/16, or 1%, at 20 1/8.)