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Northrop Grumman 1Q Profit Fell 4.5% On Broad Revenue Decline

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Northrop Grumman Corp.'s (NOC) first-quarter earnings fell 4.5% as the defense company reported revenue fell across its main businesses. For the year, the company raised its per-share earnings estimate to $6.70 to $6.95 from its February estimate for $6.40 to $6.70 and affirmed its revenue view. Northrop Grumman, which builds pilotless aircraft such as the Global Hawk and is a provider of cybersecurity and logistics services, has been streamlining operations for the past several years to cope with leaner defense budgets. Though the company has viewed the government's increased focus on high-tech weaponry as a potential plus, the Pentagon earlier this year canceled a version of Northrop's Global Hawk unmanned surveillance plane as part of an initial 2013 budget plan. Northrop Grumman reported a profit of $506 million, down from $530 million, a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings rose to $1.96 from $1.79 on fewer shares outstanding in the more recent period. Excluding pension impacts and other items, earnings from continuing operations were up at $1.88 from $1.44. Revenue decreased 8% to $6.2 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $1.59 on revenue of $6.25 billion. Operating margin rose to 12.8% from 12%. Sales declined at the aerospace, electronic, information and technical systems segments. Total backlog at quarter's end was $39.13 billion, down from $39.52 billion at the end of 2011. Shares closed Tuesday at $62.73 and were inactive premarket. -By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com

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