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08 Aug 06. Aerospace Companies: Leading Earners. Flight International published (8 Aug 06) its annual ranking of the leading 100 companies by aerospace-related (civil and military) turnover. As in the previous two years Boeing was first world-wide, EADS second, Lockheed Martin third, Northrop Grumman fourth and BAE Systems fifth.
Comment: The rankings of other UK companies were: Rolls-Royce – 14th (14th in 2005); Smiths Group – 27th (29th); Cobham – 36th (37th); BBA Group – 39th (40th); GKN – 45th (28th); Meggitt – 48th (53rd); Ultra Elelctronics – 68th (68th); Umeco – 74th (79th); Britax – 77th (84th); Senior – 92nd (91st); Doncasters – 93rd (93rd); Chemring – 98th (94th) and Martin-Baker – 100th (99th). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0631, 14 Aug 06)

17 Aug 06. Hewlett-Packard Co.’s fiscal third-quarter profit surged, helped partly by Chief Executive Mark Hurd’s campaign to cut costs, and the technology behemoth raised its profit targets for its current quarter and full fiscal year. The Palo Alto, Calif., computer and printer maker also posted a 5.4% revenue jump for the quarter, within the company’s stated goal of 4% to 6% annual sales growth. For the three months ended July 31, H-P posted net income of $1.38 billion, or 48 cents a share, up from $73 million, or three cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding amortization of intangibles, H-P earned $1.5bn, or 52 cents a share, exceeding Wall Street estimates of 47 cents a share as tallied by Thomson Financial. It was the fifth consecutive quarter that H-P has beat Wall Street expectations since Mr. Hurd joined the company. The fiscal third quarter is typically a slow one for H-P. The year-earlier net numbers were low because of a tax charge that was taken when H-P pulled $14.5bn from foreign earnings and repatriated those profits in the U.S. Revenue for the latest quarter was $21.89bn, up from $20.76bn. Analysts had expected revenue of $21.8bn. Notably, profitability in H-P’s personal-computer business continued to improve, even as Dell ran into problems and said it would be lowering prices in order to compete. H-P’s PC business posted operating margins of 4%, up from 2.6%. The unit’s quarterly revenue rose 8.3% and operating profit jumped 69%. Meanwhile, H-P’s most profitable business, its printing and imaging business, experienced 5.4% revenue growth and 15% growth in operating profit. Its storage and computer server business reported 3.2% revenue growth and a doubling in operating profit, while the services business’s revenue grew 1.3% on a 42% increase in operating profit. In addition, H-P’s software business posted a 30% jump in revenue and it posted a profitable quarter, compared with a loss a year earlier. Last month, H-P announced it was buying software maker Mercury Interactive Corp. for $4.5 billion in order to beef up its software unit. Software is typically a more profitable business than hardware such as PCs and servers. For the current quarter, ending in late October, H-P said it would post revenue of $24.1 billion and operating earnings of 61 cents to 63 cents a share. Analysts had expected revenue of $24.05bn and operating earnings per share of 59 cents. For the full fiscal year, H-P projected operating earnings per share of $2.31 to $2.33, above analysts’ expectations of $2.07. H-P also shed around 1,900 jobs in the third quarter, part of the company’s previously announced program to cut around 15,000, or 10%, of its global work force. (Source: WSJ)

11 Aug 06. Rheinmetall Waffe Munition acquires rights to PELE and ALP Technology. Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Ratingen, Germany has just acquired the industrial property and trademark rights for the Penetrator with Enhanced Lateral Effect (PELE) and Active Lateral Penetrator (ALP) from the Swiss-based company futurtec AG. The two technologies significantly enhance the effectiveness and versatility of existing ammunition. In future, Rheinmetall plans to market them in conjunction with ammu

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