Alliant Techsystems on Target

The third quarter beats estimates and guidance is in line.
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Alliant Techsystems

(ATK)

posted a flat third-quarter profit Thursday and offered in-line guidance.

The company also said it would buy back as many as 5 million shares.

The Minneapolis-based weapons and space company made $47.1 million, or $1.26 a share, compared with $47.8 million, or $1.25 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $770 million for the quarter ended Jan. 1 from $684 million a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for a $1.20-a-share profit on sales of $761 million.

The company said latest-quarter organic growth, reflecting revenue gains exclusive of acquisitions, was 12%, while orders in the latest quarter hit $812 million.

Alliant said it expects to make $4.55 to $4.58 a share for the year ending next month on sales of $3.1 billion. The company continues to expect to generate operating cash of approximately $240 million and capital expenditures of approximately $70 million. Analysts were looking for $4.59 on $3.12 billion.

For fiscal 2007, Alliant expects earnings per share to be in the range of $4.65 to $4.80, including a 24-cent-a-share charge for stock-based compensation. This estimate also includes increased pension expenses of approximately $24 million. The company currently expects pension expenses to be flat to lower in years after fiscal 2007. Alliant expects fiscal year 2007 sales of more than $3.3 billion and operating cash in excess of $240 million. Capital expenditures are anticipated to be approximately $70 million. Analysts were looking for $5.05 on $3.33 billion.