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L-3 Communications 1Q Profit Off 7.7%, But Raises 2011 EPS View

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES L-3 Communications Holding Inc.'s (LLL) first-quarter profit fell 7.7% but it raised its outlook for earnings this year because of more planned stock buybacks and expected margin improvement. The company, which has contracts for such services as training foreign militaries and upgrading government aircraft, boosted its earnings view for 2011 to $8.50 to $8.60 a share, from the $8.40 to $8.55 projected in January. It lowered its revenue projection, though: it now sees revenue of $15.5 billion to $15.6 billion, down from $15.7 billion to $15.9 billion. The improved bottom-line forecast is partly the result of more planned share repurchases and higher estimated operating margins, thanks to tight cost controls and favorable projected sales mix. The company said it expects government-services revenue will be weaker than originally thought. L-3 differs from larger rivals who rely on a few major contracts for the bulk of revenue. Its core earnings have held up in recent quarters as defense companies prepare for slowing spending by customers such as the U.S. military. For the quarter ended March 26, L-3 posted a profit of $204 million, or $1.85 a share, down from $221 million, or $1.87 a share, a year earlier. Net sales eased 0.6% to $3.6 billion. In January, it had forecast earnings of about $1.85 a share on $3.6 billion in revenue, which was weaker than the average analyst estimates at the time. Operating margin narrowed to 10.8% from 11.3%. Funded orders dropped 7.7% from a year earlier to $3.36 billion as funded backlog ended the period at $10.91 billion, down 1.6%. The electronic-systems segment, L-3's biggest by revenue, saw sales fall 1.2% as operating income decreased 6.2%. Shares were down 0.3% at $76.75 in light, premarket trading. Through Wednesday's close, the stock had declined 21% in the last year, while the wider market has climbed. -By Joan E. Solsman and Ian Thomson, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291;

Stock News for L3 Comm (LLL)
02/10/201616:08:57Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/10/201616:07:11Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/10/201612:39:06Amended Statement of Ownership (sc 13g/a)
02/09/201616:18:14Current Report Filing (8-k)
02/09/201614:30:00L-3 Increases Quarterly Dividend
02/04/201616:30:00CACI Taking a Break From Deals
02/02/201616:27:44Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
02/01/201615:30:00L-3 to Present at the Cowen and Company 37th Annual Aerospace/Defense...
02/01/201612:57:00L-3 Completes Sale of National Security Solutions Business
01/28/201623:44:00Defense Companies Feel Oil's Knock
01/28/201620:02:00Defense Companies Feel Oil's Knock
01/28/201607:31:50Current Report Filing (8-k)
01/28/201606:55:00L-3 Announces Fourth Quarter 2015 Results
01/26/201616:44:01Amended Statement of Ownership (sc 13g/a)
01/21/201608:30:00L-3 to Broadcast Fourth Quarter Conference Call Over the Internet
01/08/201616:21:31Amended Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4/a)
12/22/201506:04:44Current Report Filing (8-k)
12/22/201506:04:44Current Report Filing (8-k)
12/21/201508:15:00L-3 Announces the Early Results of Its Cash Tender Offer
12/18/201515:06:00L-3 Announces the Pricing Terms of Its Cash Tender Offer for...

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