Northrop Grumman Corp., the third-biggest U.S. defense contractor, on Wednesday said profit dropped 7% in the fourth quarter on waning sales of B-2 bombers and delays in the production of other weapons programs.
Profit before one-time charges fell to $126 million, or $1.81 a share, from $135 million, or $1.97, in the fourth quarter of 1997. The results fell just short of expectations of $1.83 to $1.93 a share, analysts said.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday February 10, 1999 Home Edition Business Part C Page 3 Financial Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Earnings report--CB Richard Ellis Services Inc., the Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services company, has not yet reported quarterly earnings for the period ended Dec. 30. A chart that appeared Thursday incorrectly suggested otherwise.
Fourth-quarter sales were unchanged at $2.5 billion, and Northrop warned they would also be "relatively flat" in 1999 and 2000. It faces declining sales of jetliners at Boeing Co., its key customer for aircraft parts, and slow growth in defense spending. Much of Northrop's earnings came from investments in its pension plan rather than its own business.
Northrop shares rose $1.31 to close at $65.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Chairman Kent Kresa told analysts in a conference call that he foresees a rebound in sales and "double-digit" earnings growth starting in 2000. He expects sales of $12 billion in 2003, up from $9 billion in 1999 and 2000. The increase will be fueled mainly by its information-technology unit and a pickup in overseas orders.
Sales of the B-2 stealth bomber, Northrop's largest program, dropped to $358 million from $425 million in the quarter. The company delivered the last of 21 B-2s to the U.S. Air Force in November 1997 and is now performing overhaul work on some of the earliest models.
At a Glance
Other earnings, excluding one-time gains and charges unless noted:
* Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported fourth-quarter net income for the period ended Dec. 31 of $7.6 million, or 22 cents per share, on revenue of $170.7 million. That compares with net income of $4.9 million, or 15 cents, on revenue of $104.6 million in the year-ago period. La Jolla-based Agouron, which last month agreed to be acquired by Warner-Lambert Co. for $2.1 billion, makes the anti-AIDS drug Viracept, a top-selling product in a class of protease inhibitors. Sales of Viracept rose 33% to $158.2 million.
* San Francisco-based property developer Catellus Development Corp. said fourth-quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 86% to $34.8 million, or 32 cents a share, from $18.7 million, or 17 cents, in the same period of 1997. That beat Wall Street expectations of 26 cents.
* Crown Vantage Inc., an Oakland-based paper maker, took a $163.8-million pretax charge to write down the value of assets at its mills as prices for pulp and paper products remain low. It also reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $107 million, or $10.78 a share, from $5.1 million, or 56 cents, in the year-earlier period. Sales fell to $851 million from $897 million a year ago.
* MORE EARNINGS: C3, C6
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A sampling of California-based companies reporting quarterly earnings Wednesday and expected to report today, ranked by year-over-year earnings-per-share (EPS) growth, compiled by First Call:
Analysts' Pct. above/ 1997 Ticker estimated Actual below 4th-qtr. Company symbol EPS EPS estimate EPS National RV Hldgs NVH $0.54 $0.59 +9% $0.45 IDEC Pharmaceuticals IDPH 0.24 0.24 0 0.35
Year- over-year Company % change National RV Hldgs +31% IDEC Pharmaceuticals -31
Ticker Analysts' Year-ago Predicted Company symbol estimated EPS quarter pct. chg. Castle & Cooke CCS $0.08 $0.04 +100% National Golf Property TEE 0.82 0.58 +41 AirTouch Communications ATI 0.18 0.14 +29 Natural Alternatives NAII 0.28 0.24 +17 Zenith National Insurance ZNT 0.29 0.28 +4 Sirena Apparel SIRN 0.11 0.13 -15 CB Richard Ellis CBG 0.63 0.86 -27 Motorcar Parts MPAA 0.15 0.29 -48 Hilton Hotels HLT 0.19 NA NA
Notes: NA = not available
Year-over-year growth and percentage changes are based on earnings-per-share
figures and may differ from percentage changes based on total profit.
For more information via the Internet, check http://www.firstcall.com.