Defense Stocks Move Higher on Mixed Earnings

Boeing and Northrop Grumman raised their outlooks for the year

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

Real America IndexAerospace and defense makers, which are facing the possibility of deep cuts in military spending next year, reported mixed third-quarter earnings that mostly beat estimates, on Wednesday.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) said that it earned $1.03 billion during the quarter, down from $1.1 billion last year. EPS of $1.35 topped Wall Street, which was expecting $1.12 a share, Reuters noted. The aircraft maker posted revenue of $20 billion, up 13% from 2011 and meeting analysts’ forecasts.

White House: Obama Never Planned to Cut Defense Spending
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The company raised its profit outlook for the year to between $4.80 and $4.95 a share, up from earlier estimates of between $4.40 and $4.60 a share. The new forecast is above the $4.72 a share that analysts had expected. Boeing shares moved up more than 1% on the news.

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) reported income of $600 million, down from $652 million last year. EPS came in at $1.70, which missed the $1.78 that analysts had forecast. The company recorded revenue of $7.93 billion, up 1% from last year, but falling short of the $8.04 billion that Wall Street was looking for. Despite the misses, General Dynamics shares climbed 2%.

General Dynamics is part of InvestorPlace‘s Real America Index, a list of companies — one from each state — whose performance provides a window on the health of the U.S. economy. General Dynamics represents the state of Virginia in the index.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) posted EPS of $2.21, up 11% from $1.99 last year, and easily beating the $1.85 expected by analysts. Revenue dipped to $11.87, down 2% from 2011, but well above the $11.17 billion Wall Street had predicted. The results sent Lockheed Martin shares up more than 3%.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) said it earned $1.82 a share, down from $1.86 a share last year, but handily topping the $1.69 a share that analysts had estimated. Revenue declined to $6.27 billion, compared to $6.61 billion last year, and missed forecasts of $6.33 billion. Northrop Grumman shares increased fractionally in Wednesday morning trading.

The company raised its earnings outlook for the year to between $7.35 and $7.40 a share, up from earlier guidance of between $7.05 and $7.25 a share.

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