Originally created 05/05/04

Northrop Grumman's profit slips



LOS ANGELES -Northrop Grumman Corp.'s first-quarter net income declined 8.3 percent despite a 21 percent surge in revenue, as substantial gains from discontinued operations boosted the company's earnings in the prior-year period.

The Los Angeles-based defense contractor had net income of $232 million, or $1.27 a share, compared with $253 million, or $1.34 a share, in the previous first quarter.

Income from discontinued operations in the previous quarter was $80 million, including results of the company's Component Technologies businesses and TRW Automotive, which was sold in February 2003.

Earnings from continuing operations came in at $1.25 a share for the latest quarter, compared with 91 cents a share a year ago.

Wall Street had expected first-quarter earnings, excluding items, of $1.21 a share, according to a Thomson First Call survey of analysts.

Revenue climbed to $7.11 billion from $5.87 billion, as each of Northrop Grumman's operating units posted double-digit sales growth.

Business in the defense industry has remained brisk as the United States' involvement in Iraq continues.

Bookings for the quarter increased 19 percent to $8.4 billion.

The company's funded backlog was $28.2 billion as of March 31, compared with $26.9 billion at the end of the year.

Total backlog, which includes funded backlog and firm orders for which funding is not currently contractually obligated by the customer, was $57.6 billion as of March 31, compared with $58.2 billion as of Dec. 31, 2003.

Northrop, with 2003 revenue of $26.21 billion, has operations in 44 states and 25 countries, serving international military, government and commercial customers.

Its products and services are used in defense electronics, systems integration, information technology and nuclear and non-nuclear ships and systems.

On Monday, Northrop Grumman Corp. announced it received a six-year, $888 million contract to develop and test an airborne radar system for the U.S. Air Force.

Northrop Grumman designed the radar under a three-year, $410 million contract that started in 2000. The system will increase the Air Force's ability to track and identify stationary and moving objects and low-flying cruise missiles, the company said.