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Lockheed Martin Tops Q3 Earnings Forecast, Lifts 2020 Outlook

Lockheed Martin said its sees full year profits of around $24.45 per share thanks in part to stronger-than-expected sales in its key aeronautics business.

Lockheed Martin Corp.  (LMT)  posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday while noting that the near-term impact on its aeronautics business from the COVID 19 pandemic remains uncertain. 

Lockheed Martin said profits for the three months ending in September were pegged at $6.25 per share, up 10.4% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $6.10 per share. Group revenues, the company said, rose 8.8% to $16.5 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $16.2 billion tally.

Looking into the 2021 year, Lockheed Martin said it expects net sales to increase to around $67 billion, a 3% increase from its 2020 forecast of $65.25 billion, a growth rate that falls just shy of analysts' estimates. 

The group's 2020 earnings forecast, however, was lifted to around $24.45 per share, up from a prior estimate of $23.75 to $24.05 per share, the company said.

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"In the third quarter, our dedicated workforce and resilient supply chain continued to support our customers' vital national security missions, overcoming the challenges of the pandemic," said CEO James Taiclet. "As a result, we delivered strong results across our key financial metrics and we expect to build on this success through the remainder of the year. Looking ahead to 2021, we remain focused on driving innovation and growing our assets and capabilities to further benefit our customers and shareholders."  

Lockheed Martin shares were marked 0.4% lower in early trading following the earnings release to  change hands at $382.00 each.

Lockheed also noted that deliveries of its signature F-35 fighter jet rose to 31 for the quarter, up from 28 last year, after overcoming concerns of supply-chain disruptions linked to the coronavirus pandemic.