Lockheed Martin Raises Fiscal View, Tops Estimates

Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE:LMT) first-quarter profit marginally slipped in the first-quarter on only modestly higher sales, though the company toppled Wall Street estimates and raised its fiscal earnings view, sending its shares higher Tuesday.

The military transport maker has streamlined operations and cut staff through voluntary buyouts in preparation for a continued slump in U.S. defense spending.

The Bethesda, Md.-based government defense contractor posted net earnings of $530 million, or $1.50 a share, compared with $533 million, or $1.41 a share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.55 a share, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $1.51.

Revenue for the maker of advanced technology systems was $10.6 billion, up from $10.3 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $10.58 billion.

Sales for the jet maker were led in its aeronautics and electronic systems units, up about 8.2% and 6.4%, respectively, to $3.18 billion and $3.46 billion, due primarily to stronger volumes.

“We focused on executing on our programs while continuing to find affordable solutions, because we and our customers need to make every dollar count,” Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens said in a statement. “In this new reality shaped by an increasingly complex global security environment and an uncertain economy, we remain committed to providing value to our customers while achieving strong financial results for our shareholders.”

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2011 revenue view in the range of $45.75 billion to $47.25 billion and raised its earnings forecast to the range of $6.95 a share to $7.25 a share from $6.70 to $7. Wall Street is looking for earnings of $6.98 on revenues of $46.55 billion.