BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. posted a smaller loss for the fourth quarter Friday but reduced its outlook for the coming year.
Lockheed lost $347 million, or 77 cents per share, for the final three months of 2002. That compares with a loss of $1.5 billion, or $3.49 per share, in the year-earlier quarter, when the company took a $1.3 billion charge related to the sale of its telecommunications division.
Sales rose 6 percent to $7.78 billion from $7.33 billion in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Excluding one-time charges, including a $504 million writedown of telecommunications investments, the company would have earned $380 million, or 85 cents per share in the fourth quarter. That was 4 cents better than the 81 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.
Sales for 2003 are expected to be between 8 percent and 12 percent above 2002 sales, Lockheed said. That would put them ahead of analysts estimate of $28 billion.
But, profits won't keep pace. Lockheed said Friday it expects earnings per share to be between $2.15 and $2.20, including a 75 cents per share charge for pensions and other costs. The current consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call is for earnings of $2.54.
Lockheed warned in December that its results for 2003, then expected to come in at $2.86, would fall short. The company at that time predicted annual earnings of between $2.75 and $2.85 per share.
For all of 2002, the company posted a net profit of $500 million, or $1.11 per share, compared with a net loss of $1.0 billion, or $2.42 per share for 2001. Excluding one-time items, the company would have earned $2.58 per share in 2002, 3 cents better than the Thomson First Call estimate.
Shares of Lockheed fell $1.38 to close Friday at $50.90 per share on the New York Stock Exchange.