Lockheed Martin (LMT) Reduces Number of Furloughed Workers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lockheed Martin (LMT) announced it will reduce the total number of furloughed workers by 20% after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reinstated nearly 400,000 civilian defense employees.

On Friday, Lockheed Martin said they would need to lay off 3,000 employees, which has since been reduced to 2,400. The positions currently furloughed are either located in a closed government facility or have been given a government-issued stop-work order.

"We continue to urge Congress and the Administration to come to an agreement that funds the government as soon as possible," the company said in a statement.

United Technologies (UTX) has cancelled its plan to furlough as many as 4,000 workers.

Lockheed Martin shares are 1.3% higher to $124.09 while United Technologies shares gained 0.14% to $104.42, as of 12:20 p.m. ET. Both are leading the S&P 500 which is down 0.51%.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Lockheed Martin as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Lockheed Martin (LMT) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 31.94% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LMT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Lockheed Martin has improved earnings per share by 10.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, Lockheed Martin increased its bottom line by earning $8.34 vs. $7.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.46 vs. $8.34).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry and the overall market, Lockheed Martin's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Aerospace & Defense industry average. The net income increased by 10% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $781 million to $859 million.
  • LMT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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