NORTHROP REPORTS PROFIT DECLINE DUE TO LHD-8 CHARGE
24 Apr 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) reported that first quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations declined to $263m, or $0.76 per diluted share, (2007: $394m, or $1.12). First quarter 2008 earnings were reduced by a pre-tax charge of $326m, or $0.61 per diluted share, primarily for cost growth and schedule extension in the company’s LHD-8 amphibious assault ship program, as announced on April 15, 2008. Sales for the 2008 first quarter increased 6 percent to $7.7bn from $7.3bn in the 2007 first quarter. Cash provided by operations for the 2008 first quarter totalled $194m compared with $400m in the prior year period.
The company also announced that it is increasing its quarterly dividend to $0.40 per share from $0.37 per share. The company has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the last five years, and with the increase to $0.40 per share the company has doubled its quarterly common stock dividend since 2003.
($ millions except per share data) 2008 2007 Change
Sales 7,724 7,314 6%
Operating income 464 690 -33%
as a % of sales 6.0% 9.4% (340) bps
Earnings from continuing operations 263 394 -33%
Diluted EPS from continuing
operations .76 1.12 -32%
Net earnings 264 387 -32%
Diluted EPS .76 1.10 -31%
Cash from operations 194 400 -52%
Free cash flow(1) 16 212 -92%
(1) Free cash flow is a non-GAAP measure defined as cash from
operations less capital expenditures and outsourcing contract &
related software costs. Management uses free cash flow as an
internal measure of financial performance.
“Although the LHD-8 charge is disappointing, the remainder of our first quarter performance was strong. Total backlog increased more than $4bn to a record $68bn. We demonstrated strong growth and performance in our Information & Services, Aerospace and Electronics businesses, and we won the KC-45 tanker program. These positives demonstrate the solid, underlying business trends we expect and reinforce our confidence in our long-term financial targets,” said Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer.
“Based on the strength of that long-term outlook, we continue to execute our balanced cash deployment strategy. During the quarter we purchased $600m of our shares, and today we announced an increase in our quarterly dividend. This is our fifth annual increase and represents a doubling of our dividend since the TRW acquisition.”
Operating income for the 2008 first quarter decreased 33 percent to $464m from $690m for the 2007 first quarter. As a percent of sales, operating income decreased to 6 percent from 9.4 percent in the prior year period. The $326m pre-tax charge in Shipbuilding caused the decline in operating income in the quarter and as a percent of sales, impacted operating income by approximately 400 basis points.
Federal and foreign income taxes for the 2008 first quarter declined to $146m from $206m in the first quarter of 2007. The effective tax rate applied to earnings from continuing operations for the 2008 first quarter was 35.7 percent compared with 34.3 percent in the 2007 first quarter.
Net earnings for the 2008 first quarter declined to $264m, or $0.76 per diluted share, (2007: $387m, or $1.10). Earnings per share are based on weighted average diluted shares outstanding of