shares rose early Thursday after the defense contractor offered solid guidance for 2005 and 2006 and raised its quarterly stock dividend to boot.
The Los Angeles-based company said it expects revenue of $31 billion to $31.5 billion in 2005 and $33 billion in 2006. Analysts expect $31.55 billion and $33.36 billion, respectively, according to Thomson First Call.
EPS from continuing operations in 2005 is now seen at $3.60 to $3.75, up from $3.45 to $3.60. The upward revision includes an after-tax gain of $45 million, or 12 cents a share, for the recent sale of common shares of
. The consensus forecast is $3.53 a share, excluding items.
The company also raised its quarterly cash dividend by 13% to 26 cents a share, up from 23 cents a share. It will be payable June 11 to shareholders of record as of the close of business May 31.
In the premarket, shares were trading at $54.18, up $1.40, or 2.6%.