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Lockheed Sees First-Quarter Profit Fall 75%

EARNINGS

April 26, 2000|From Reuters and Bloomberg News

NEW YORK — Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday that first-quarter operating profit fell 75% but slightly beat Wall Street estimates.

The world's largest defense contractor also said it reached a tentative contract with 2,300 workers striking its F-16 fighter aircraft operations.

Lockheed posted earnings of $48 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $194 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier, before one-time items. The consensus estimate was 10 cents, according to First Call/Thomson Financial, after the company guided analysts' forecasts lower during the last year. Net sales fell 10% to $5.56 billion.

Satellite-related business slowed and costs rose in the recent quarter, and it delivered roughly half as many F-16 fighters and C-130J military transport aircraft as it did a year earlier. It failed to record a profit on the C-130Js.

The lower F-16 delivery schedule helped in one way: It reduced the potential impact of the two-week strike by Fort Worth machinists. Late Monday, Lockheed and the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 776 reached a tentative agreement that would end the strike.

The machinists struck after rejecting Lockheed's offer of 10% wage increases over three years and an improved pension benefit. They said they wanted a better cost-of-living adjustment formula, better severance and outsourcing provisions, and a ratification bonus, all features of a recent contract between union members and Boeing Co.

Neither side would reveal details of the pact Tuesday, pending a ratification vote set for today.

Based on an estimated increase in pension income, Lockheed said it raised its 2000 outlook for earnings before one-time items to $1.05 a share from $1. Lockheed said it still expected a 15% to 25% annual increase in earnings per share from the base of 2000 results, including an expected reduction in pension income in 2001.

Lockheed closed off 31 cents at $25.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

At a Glance

Other earnings, excluding one-time gains or charges unless noted, include:

* Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. said its first-quarter profit increased 13% to $306 million, or 53 cents a share, far exceeding the 46 cents a share analysts expected. The hospital chain benefited from rising insurance reimbursements, strong admissions at its hospitals owned for at least a year and success in holding down labor and supply costs. Revenue from continuing operations fell 9% to $4.3 billion.

* Hasbro Inc.'s profit rose 17% to $16.1 million, or 9 cents a share, a penny better than estimates, as sales rose 16% to $773.5 million, led by demand for Pokemon toys and games. The company said U.S. sales were up just 3% as demand slowed for CD-ROM-based games and Star Wars toys.

* Estee Lauder Cos. said profit rose 13% in its fiscal third quarter to $60.4 million, or 22 cents a share, matching analyst forecasts. The cosmetic company's sales rose 8% to $1.04 billion, as demand for new products offset a decline in fragrance revenue.

* Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. said first-quarter profit rose 19% to $455.4 million, or $1.13 a share, better than the $1.08 forecast, but warned that spending is likely to keep it from exceeding analysts' highest estimates for the full year. Revenue rose 7.3% to $4.05 billion as improving global economies increased demand for its products that range from Post-it Notes to electronic circuitry. The company said profit for 2000 would rise only 12% to 14%, as marketing expenses would offset a gain that would have put earnings above estimates. 3M's shares fell $3.56 to close at $93.81 on the NYSE.

* Procter & Gamble Co. said profit fell 11% in its fiscal third quarter to $923 million, or 64 cents a share, on higher costs. Sales rose 6% to $9.78 billion. The household products giant also cut its forecast for fourth-quarter sales but said it still expects to meet fourth-quarter profit forecasts because of a lower tax rate and reduced benefit costs. The company had warned of disappointing third-quarter earnings a month ago, saying it couldn't raise prices fast enough to cover surging paper pulp and oil costs.

* Pharmacia Corp. said first-quarter earnings rose 28% to $425 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of painkiller Celebrex and other drugs. Sales rose 6% to $4.29 billion.

* Reebok International Ltd. said first-quarter profit jumped 77% to $31.7 million, or 56 cents a share, well beyond analyst estimates of 35 cents, on lower inventory costs. Sales fell 2% to $769.8 million. Reebok's backlog of orders in the U.S. rose for the first time in three years with the help of new products, analysts said.

* VF Corp., maker of Lee and Wrangler jeans, said first-quarter earnings fell 5.8% to $80.6 million, or 68 cents a share, better than the 65 cents analysts expected. Revenue grew less than 1% to $1.37 billion as sales of jeans declined but work-wear sales grew.

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