- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2003

From combined dispatches
Lockheed Martin beat Wall Street estimates yesterday, reporting higher first-quarter earnings from a surge in fighter jet and military aircraft sales.
Aeronautics revenue for the Bethesda-based defense contractor rose 57 percent from fighter programs such as the F-16 and development work on the new F/A-22 and F-35 fighters.
Lockheed posted a 15 percent jump in profits for the first quarter ended March 31 to $250 million (55 cents per share) from $218 million (49 cents) a year earlier, beating the consensus estimate of 42 cents per share by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.
Sales rose 18 percent to $7.05 billion from $5.97 billion. Much of that was attributable to aircraft sales, which grew from $1.33 billion to $2.01 billion in the quarter.
Earlier this month, Lockheed signed a $3.5 billion contract with Poland for 48 F-16 fighters, adding to the record $74.6 billion backlog that the company reported in the first quarter.
Lockheed officials said the company doesn't expect any short-term impact from a strike at its Fort Worth, Texas, plant that manufactures F-16s and the midsection of the F-22. About 4,000 workers went on strike April 13, demanding higher wages and better medical insurance.
For the year, Lockheed said it expects to earn between $2.20 and $2.30 per share in 2003, up from its earlier guidance of $2.15 to $2.20 per share. The company also said it expects sales to be 8 percent to 12 percent higher than in 2002.
The federal government will pay a higher portion of Lockheed's pension expenses than previously expected, cutting the company's pension expense to $305 million this year, from $330 million originally forecast. The company can recover pension costs under government contracts.
Among other area companies reporting earnings yesterday:
The Washington Post Co., which said first-quarter profits soared to $73.1 million ($7.59 per share) from $11.6 million ($1.16) a year earlier.
Capital Automotive REIT, a McLean specialty financing company for automotive retail real estate, which said earnings in the first quarter climbed 9 percent to $11.9 million (41 cents per diluted share) from $10.9 million (39 cents) in the previous year.
American Management Systems Inc., a Fairfax information-technology consulting firm, which narrowed first-quarter earnings 43 percent to $6.3 million (15 cents per diluted share) from $10.7 million (25 cents) a year earlier.
Analex Corp., an Alexandria intelligence and biological defense company, which said first-quarter income rose 86 percent to $735,400 (4 cents per share) from $395,200 (2 cents) a year earlier.
Staff writer Marguerite Higgins contributed to this report.

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