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18 Oct 06. General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) reported 2006 third-quarter revenues of $6.1bn, a 14.5 percent increase over third-quarter 2005 revenues of $5.3bn. Earnings from continuing operations in the quarter increased to $440m, or $1.08 per share on a fully diluted basis, compared to 2005 third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $364m, or $0.90 per share fully diluted. (All per-share data has been adjusted to reflect a two-for-one stock split that occurred March 24, 2006.) Net earnings, including discontinued operations, were $438m for third-quarter 2006, or $1.08 per share on a fully diluted basis. In comparison, net earnings including discontinued operations for the third quarter of 2005 were $374m, or $0.92 per share fully diluted. Funded backlog at the end of the third quarter was $31.7bn, and total backlog was $44.4bn, compared to $30.5bn and $42.4bn, respectively, at the end of the second quarter of 2006.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $534m for the three-month period ending Oct. 1, while free cash flow from operations, defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures, was $452m.
The company enjoyed sales and operating earnings growth across all four of its operating groups – Information Systems and Technology, Combat Systems, Marine Systems and Aerospace. Overall operating margins improved 40 basis points compared to third quarter 2005. In addition, all four business groups generated substantial orders in the quarter, increasing funded backlog by more than $1bn and total backlog by about $2bn over the previous reporting period.

18 Oct 06. International Business Machines Corp.’s third-quarter net income rose 46% from a tax-charge-weakened level a year earlier, as sales rose 5.1%, reflecting growth in all major business lines. The information-technology giant showed sales growth and profit-margin improvement in its huge services business, which had been weak in recent quarters, and also posted strong sales of software and mainframe computers. The Armonk, N.Y., company posted net income of $2.22 billion, or $1.45 a share, compared with $1.52bn, or 94 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. The year-earlier results were weighed down by a $525 million tax charge for the repatriation of overseas earnings. Excluding the year-earlier charge, IBM would have reported a 15% increase in profit. Earnings were well ahead of analysts’ estimates of $1.35 a share as reported by Thomson Financial. Revenue of $22.62bn topped the analysts’ forecast of $22.08bn. (Source: WSJ)

18 Oct 06. Motorola’s latest results have disappointed. Shares in Motorola have fallen 8% after the firm’s latest quarterly revenues failed to meet Wall Street targets. Reporting results for the three months to the end of September, Motorola said revenues rose 17% compared to the same time last year to $10.6bn (£5.7bn). Hit by weaker-than-expected sales, the firm’s performance fell below average analyst predictions of $11.06bn. Profits at the world’s second-largest mobile phone firm fell 45%, but this was due to a one-off gain last year. Motorola’s third-quarter net profit fell to $968m, or 39 cents a share, from $1.75bn, or 69 cents a share, a year ago. When last year’s one-off gain is pulled out – an investment in Nextel Communications – Motorola’s profits during the third quarter of 2005 were 30 cents a share. (Source: BBC)

16 Oct 06. NEC Corp. said it sold its European personal computer operations, marking the Japanese company’s withdrawl from the consumer PC market there. NEC sold its Netherlands-based Packard Bell BV unit to Lap Shun “John” Hui, a China-born entrepreneur who co-founded eMachines Inc., the low-cost PC maker. Terms of the deal were disclosed.Packard Bell focuses on the sale of personal computers to individual users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Its annual sales were about ¥130bn ($1.09bn), but the company has been suffering losses in recent years. Packa

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