Call it missile guidance, or maybe it's missile envy.
Raytheon shares rose 1.8% in early Thursday trade, adding $2.82 to $158.09
The company, which reported first-quarter earnings of $1.73 a share on Thursday, compared to $1.43 a year ago, and better than the $1.61 consensus FactSet analyst estimate, said that, "Solid revenue growth and margin expansion drove strong earnings per share performance in the first quarter, with all of our businesses meeting or exceeding expectations."
Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems unit which manufactures the Patriot, booked $220 million to provide Patriot engineering services support for U.S. and international customers. - Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates have included the PAC-3 missile in their air and missile defense systems.
Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates, among others, have all been customers for the Patriot system.
Raytheon's Missile Systems business, which makes other weapons systems saw its unit's sales rise 2%, to $1.76 billion compared to $1.72 billion in the first quarter 2016.But, due to customers buying higher margin weapons, the unit's operating income rose 13%, to $216 million compared to $192 million in the first quarter 2016.
Raytheon said that during the quarter the Missile Sytems business booked $203 million for AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles for the U.S. and international customers and $159 million for Paveway for international customers.
Those results led Raytheon to up its earnings outlook to $7.25-$7.40 a share for the full year 2017, from an earlier $7.20 to $7.35. Interestingly, that's still below a more bullish Wall Street analyst consensus of $7.40.
According to FIAeroWeb.com, a site that tracks aerospace defense technologies, the last time the U.S. Army bought the system the unit cost of the latest Patriot missile was $3.43 million, while the launching system carried a $3.82 million.
Raytheon also is the prime contractor for the Tomahawk cruise missile.
In his first decisive use of military force since entering the White House, President Donald Trump ordered the launch of 59 of the missiles on a Syrian airfield in early April. Tomahawks cost more than $800,000 a piece, according to a report from U.K. news site The Sun.
Raytheon did not report a contract award for Tomahawk missiles in 2016 and has not done so this year, either.