Lockheed Chairman Daniel Tellep delivered the most upbeat assessment of the aerospace firm's future in years Tuesday, announcing a dividend increase and projecting continued growth in 1992.
Tellep, speaking at the firm's annual meeting, said Lockheed increased its backlog, reduced its debt and has a stable mix of major defense programs. The firm currently derives 70% of its sales from defense and 30% from non-defense business, but within several years intends to increase commercial business to 40% of its sales.
The firm has repurchased more than 1.5 million shares of its common stock as part of a plan authorized by the board to buy back 4 million shares, Tellep said.
Despite the downturn in defense spending, Tellep said Lockheed's key programs--including the Trident II missile, the F-22 jet fighter and its large secret military aircraft programs--are in good shape.
The firm won a victory over foreign and other domestic spacecraft manufacturers at a recent international conference that allocated a portion of the radio spectrum to low earth communications satellites. Motorola and Lockheed are building such a system, known as Iridium.