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28 Jan 03. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales above Wall Street estimates, aided by an 80 percent increase in funded orders in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the company earned $79.8m, or 79 cents a share, on revenue of $1.3bn, (2001: $44.6m, or 53 cents a share, on revenue of $705.8m.

Analysts were expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 77 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

For 2002, the company earned $178.1m, or $1.93 a share, on revenue of $4.01bn, (2001: $115.5m, or $1.47 a share, on revenue of $2.35bn). Earnings in 2002 include extraordinary items and an accounting change. Excluding those items, income was $212.4m, or $2.29 a share. Analysts were expecting 2002 earnings excluding items of $2.26. The company said funded orders reached $1.36bn from (2001: $751.9m). At the end of the year, funded backlog was $3.23bn, (2001:$1.72bn).

On January 29th, L-3 signed a deal to buy Goodrich’s avionics business for $188m. The sale, which will result in after-tax proceeds to Goodrich of about $134m, is set to close late in the first quarter of the year.The avionics business, which makes airplane collision avoidance systems and weather mapping instruments, had 2002 revenues of about $100m, Goodrich said in a statement. Goodrich will use proceeds from the sale to help fund its $1.5bn purchase of TRW Inc.’s aeronautical systems business.

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