Thursday, April 26, 2007

Military Contractors Report Higher Profit, but Say Future Looks Uncertain

BOSTON, April 25 (AP) — General Dynamics and Raytheon posted modestly higher first-quarter earnings Wednesday, beating Wall Street’s expectations, but the two companies were reluctant to raise their profit outlooks for the full year, citing unusually high uncertainty over future Pentagon funding .

General Dynamics posted a 16 percent profit increase for the January-through-March period on improved results from its private jet, information technology and military vehicle units.

The company, based in Falls Church, Va., reported net earnings of $434 million, or $1.06 a share, up from $374 million, or 92 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 14 percent, to $6.3 billion, from $5.5 billion.

Earnings from continuing operations rose to $440 million, or $1.07 a share, narrowly beating the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who expected a profit of $1.05 a share from continuing operations.

The first-quarter profit at Raytheon rose 21 percent on strong sales of missiles and battle operations communications systems, and improving results at an aircraft unit that Raytheon sold last month.

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