Updated from 11:58 a.m. EST
lowered its outlook for 2009 and
said it would report a loss for the fourth quarter, but shares of both defense contractors were on the rise Thursday.
Lockheed said that fourth-quarter earnings rose to $823 million, or $2.05 a share, from $799 million, or $1.89 a share, in the year-ago quarter, as revenue climbed 3% to $11.1 billion. Analysts expected a fourth-quarter profit of $1.92 a share on revenue of $11.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
While the company upped its 2009 outlook for net sales to a range of $44.7 billion to $45.7 billion from a previous range of $44.25 billion to $45.25 billion, an increase in projected pension expenses forced Lockheed to reduce the range for its expected operating profit and earnings before income taxes.
For 2009, Lockheed now expects earnings of $7.05 to $7.25 a share, down from its prior guidance of $7.65 to $7.90 a share. Analysts expect a full-year profit of $7.83 a share. Shares were down earlier, but they closed up 6.3% at $85.08.
Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman said it will record a fourth-quarter noncash, after-tax charge of $3 billion to $3.4 billion for the impairment of goodwill.
Excluding the charge, Northrop expects 2008 earnings from continuing operations to meet the upper end of its $5.20-a-share guidance range. Northrop will release its finalized results on Feb. 3.
Like Lockheed, Northrop overcame early selling and turned positive, tacking on 10 cents to $48.08.
Among other defense companies,
lost 0.2% to $53.88 and
was off 0.3% at $51.54.