General Dynamic’s earnings edge up in first quarter

Posted April 27, 2011, at 9:37 a.m.
Last modified April 27, 2011, at 10:58 a.m.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. said Wednesday its first-quarter earnings edged up 3.5 percent as revenue fell in its aerospace and combat systems units but rose in its other businesses.

The Falls Church, Va., company reported its net income rose to $618 million, or $1.64 per share, for the quarter ended April 3 compared with $597 million, or $1.53 per share, in the same period of 2010.

Revenue rose 0.6 percent overall to $7.8 billion.

Wall Street expected lower earnings of $1.62 a share, according to a survey by FactSet. Analysts expected higher revenue of $7.96 billion.

General Dynamics said aerospace revenue fell 0.3 percent during the period, while Combat Systems revenue was off 2.3 percent. Information Systems and Marine Systems revenue each grew by 2.3 percent, the company said.

The company also said that its funded backlog of orders was $43.9 billion at the end of the quarter, with the aerospace backlog growing for the second straight quarter. The aerospace increase was driven by demand for Gulfstream aircraft, the company said. The Combat Systems and Information Systems units obtained several orders during the quarter, including a $325 million order from an unidentified foreign military customer for combat vehicle structures and $295 million to start producing equipment for the second phase of a U.S. Army battlefield communications network, General Dynamics said.

“By remaining focused on execution and leveraging the strength of our diverse portfolio, we delivered a solid first quarter and remain on track for another strong year,” Chairman and CEO Jay Johnson said in a statement.

General Dynamics is one of Maine’s largest private employers, with roughly 6,000 workers between it’s operations at Bath Iron Works and at its Saco armaments facility.

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