Northrop Grumman Reports First Quarter 2008 Financial Results, Updates Guidance and Raises Dividend

LOS ANGELES , April 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) reported that first quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations declined to $263 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, from $394 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2007. First quarter 2008 earnings were reduced by a pre-tax charge of $326 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, primarily for cost growth and schedule extension in the company's LHD-8 amphibious assault ship program, as announced on April 15, 2008 . Sales for the 2008 first quarter increased 6 percent to $7.7 billion from $7.3 billion in the 2007 first quarter. Cash provided by operations for the 2008 first quarter totaled $194 million compared with $400 million in the prior year period.

The company also announced that it is increasing its quarterly dividend to $0.40 per share from $0.37 per share. The company has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the last five years, and with the increase to $0.40 per share the company has doubled its quarterly common stock dividend since 2003.

"Although the LHD-8 charge is disappointing, the remainder of our first quarter performance was strong. Total backlog increased more than $4 billion to a record $68 billion. We demonstrated strong growth and performance in our Information & Services, Aerospace and Electronics businesses, and we won the KC-45 tanker program. These positives demonstrate the solid, underlying business trends we expect and reinforce our confidence in our long-term financial targets," said Ronald D. Sugar , Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer.

"Based on the strength of that long-term outlook, we continue to execute our balanced cash deployment strategy. During the quarter we purchased $600 million of our shares, and today we announced an increase in our quarterly dividend. This is our fifth annual increase and represents a doubling of our dividend since the TRW acquisition."

Operating income for the 2008 first quarter decreased 33 percent to $464 million from $690 million for the 2007 first quarter. As a percent of sales, operating income decreased to 6 percent from 9.4 percent in the prior year period. The $326 million pre-tax charge in Shipbuilding caused the decline in operating income in the quarter and as a percent of sales, impacted operating income by approximately 400 basis points.

Federal and foreign income taxes for the 2008 first quarter declined to $146 million from $206 million in the first quarter of 2007. The effective tax rate applied to earnings from continuing operations for the 2008 first quarter was 35.7 percent compared with 34.3 percent in the 2007 first quarter.

Net earnings for the 2008 first quarter declined to $264 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, from $387 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, for the same period in 2007. Earnings per share are based on weighted average diluted shares outstanding of 349.3 million for the first quarter of 2008 and 358.3 million for the first quarter of 2007. Weighted average shares outstanding for both periods include the dilutive effects of the company's mandatorily redeemable Series B convertible preferred stock and the impact of share repurchases during the quarter.

New business awards totaled $12.1 billion in the first quarter. Total backlog, which includes funded backlog and firm orders for which funding is not currently contractually obligated by the customer, increased to a record $68 billion as of March 31, 2008 .

Cash provided by operations in the 2008 first quarter totaled $194 million compared with $400 million in the prior year period. The decline in cash provided by operations reflects an increase in accounts receivable. The increase in receivables is due to timing of billing and collection resulting from the transition to a common internal accounting software system. The transition impacted working capital by approximately $200 million, which is largely expected to be recovered in the second quarter of 2008. First quarter 2008 capital spending totaled $143 million compared with capital spending of $158 million in the prior year period. First quarter 2008 free cash flow totaled $16 million compared with $212 million in the prior year period.

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $429 million at March 31, 2008 compared with $963 million at Dec. 31, 2007 , and total debt was $4.1 billion at March 31, 2008 . Changes in cash and cash equivalents and total debt include the following cash deployment and financing actions during the quarter:

During the first quarter of 2008 the company announced its intention to redeem its mandatorily redeemable Series B convertible preferred stock on April 4, 2008 . The reduction in mandatorily redeemable preferred stock reflects the voluntary conversion by holders of approximately 3 million shares during the first quarter of 2008.

During the first quarter of 2008 the company also announced the sale of its Electro-Optical Systems business for $175 million in cash. This sale was completed on April 21, 2008 , and a small after-tax gain is anticipated to be recognized in discontinued operations in the second quarter of 2008.

The company continues to expect sales of approximately $33 billion in 2008. The company has revised its guidance for segment operating income, operating income, and earnings per share to reflect the impacts of the charge in Shipbuilding, $326 million or $0.61 per diluted share, respectively. Guidance for 2008 cash from operations and free cash flow has been revised to include a $200 million negative impact from the charge.

Operating results for all periods presented reflect the reclassification of Electro-Optical Systems (formerly reported in Electronics) from continuing to discontinued operations, as well as the transfer of the Park Air and Remotec businesses from Electronics to Mission Systems effective Jan. 1, 2008 . Schedule 6 provides previously reported quarterly financial results revised to reflect discontinued operations.

Information & Services first quarter 2008 sales increased 6 percent from the prior year period due to higher sales for Mission Systems and Information Technology. Operating income for Information & Services rose 13 percent in the 2008 first quarter. As a percent of sales, operating income increased 50 basis points to 8.3 percent from 7.8 percent in the prior year period. The increase in operating income is due to higher volume, and the increase in operating income rate reflects improved program performance for Mission Systems.

Mission Systems sales increased 11 percent due to higher volume for intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance programs, higher volume for command, control & communications programs and higher volume for the Kinetic Energy Interceptor program. Operating income rose 24 percent, and as a percent of sales, increased 100 basis points to 9.4 percent from 8.4 percent in the prior year period. The increase in operating income reflects higher volume and improved program performance.

Information Technology sales rose 5 percent due to higher volume for intelligence programs, the New York City Wireless program, the Virginia IT outsourcing program, and the Network Centric Solutions program. Operating income rose 3 percent, and as a percent of sales was comparable to the prior year period at 8.2 percent compared with 8.3 percent.

Technical Services sales declined 3 percent due to completion of the Western Range Operations program in 2007 and lower volume for the Joint Base Operations Support program than in the prior year period. Operating income decreased 7 percent, and as a percent of sales, declined to 5.1 percent from 5.4 percent in the prior year period. The comparison to first quarter 2007 reflects lower volume as well as contract mix.

Aerospace first quarter 2008 sales increased 4 percent from the prior year period and includes higher volume for both Integrated Systems and Space Technology. Aerospace first quarter 2008 operating income increased 7 percent, and as a percent of sales, increased to 11.1 percent from 10.8 percent in the prior year period.

Integrated Systems sales rose 5 percent. The increase includes higher volume for restricted, Global Hawk, Navy UCAS-D, and KC-45 air mobility tanker programs, which was partially offset by lower volume for the F-35, Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion program, and the E-10A. Integrated Systems operating income rose 6 percent, and as a percent of sales, increased to 12.7 percent from 12.5 percent in the prior year period. The increase in operating income and rate reflect higher volume and improved program performance.

Space Technology sales increased 3 percent, primarily due to higher volume for restricted and James Webb Space Telescope programs. Increases in these programs were partially offset by lower volume in the Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Space Tracking and Surveillance System, and Transformational Satellite Communications System programs. Space Technology operating income increased 10 percent, and as a percent of sales increased to 8.4 percent from 7.8 percent, reflecting improved program performance and higher sales volume.

Electronics first quarter 2008 sales increased 2 percent from the prior year period principally due to higher sales for Army and navigation systems programs. These sales increases were partially offset by declining volume for naval and marine systems programs.

Electronics first quarter 2008 operating income rose 9 percent, and as a percent of sales, increased to 13.4 percent from 12.6 percent. Operating income primarily reflects improved program performance, higher volume, and higher royalty income than in the prior year period.

Shipbuilding first quarter 2008 sales increased 9 percent from the prior year period primarily due to higher volume in surface combatants and fleet support. Higher surface combatant volume includes production ramp-up for the DDG 107 and the DDG 110. The increase in fleet support reflects revenue from the July 2007 reorganization of AMSEC. Shipbuilding revenue in the 2008 first quarter was reduced by $134 million due to the revision of the LHD-8 contract's estimate to complete (EAC).

Shipbuilding recorded a $218 million operating loss in the first quarter of 2008 compared with income of $79 million in the first quarter of 2007. During the quarter the company recorded a $326 million charge that reduced Shipbuilding income by the following:

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Northrop Grumman will webcast its earnings conference call at noon EDT on April 24, 2008 . A live audio broadcast of the conference call along with a supplemental presentation will be available on the investor relations page of the company's Web site at http://www.northropgrumman.com.

Note: Certain statements and assumptions in this release contain or are based on "forward-looking" information that Northrop Grumman Corporation (the "Company") believes to be within the definition in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve risks and uncertainties, and include, among others, statements in the future tense, and all statements accompanied by terms such as "project," "expect," "estimate," "assume," "believe," "plan," "guidance," "outlook," "trends," "target" or variations thereof. This information reflects the Company's best estimates when made, but the Company expressly disclaims any duty to update this information if new data become available or estimates change after the date of this release.

Such "forward-looking" information includes, among other things, financial guidance regarding sales, segment operating margin, pension expense, employer contributions under pension plans and medical and life benefits plans, cash flow, and earnings per share, and is subject to numerous assumptions and uncertainties, many of which are outside the Company's control. These include the Company's assumptions with respect to future revenues; expected program performance and cash flows; returns on pension plan assets and variability of pension actuarial and related assumptions; the outcome of litigation, claims, appeals, bid protests, and investigations; hurricane-related insurance recoveries; environmental remediation; acquisitions and divestitures of businesses; joint ventures and other business arrangements; access to capital; performance issues with key suppliers and subcontractors; product performance and the successful execution of internal plans; successful negotiation of contracts with labor unions; allowability and allocability of costs under U.S. Government contracts; effective tax rates and timing and amounts of tax payments; the results of any audit or appeal process with the Internal Revenue Service; and anticipated costs of capital investments, among other things.

The Company's operations are subject to various additional risks and uncertainties resulting from its position as a supplier, either directly or as subcontractor or team member, to the U.S. government and its agencies as well as to foreign governments and agencies; actual outcomes are dependent upon various factors, including, without limitation, the Company's successful performance of internal plans; government customers' budgetary constraints; customer changes in short-range and long-range plans; domestic and international competition in both the defense and commercial areas; technical, operational or quality setbacks, in development and production programs, that could adversely affect the profitability or cash flow of the company; product performance; continued development and acceptance of new products and, in connection with any fixed-price development programs, controlling cost growth in meeting production specifications and delivery rates; performance issues with key suppliers and subcontractors; government import and export policies; acquisition or termination of government contracts; the outcome of political and legal processes and of the assertion or prosecution of potential substantial claims by or on behalf of a U.S. government customer; natural disasters, including amounts and timing of recoveries under insurance contracts, availability of materials and supplies, continuation of the supply chain, contractual performance relief and the application of cost sharing terms, allowability and allocability of costs under U.S. Government contracts, impacts of timing of cash receipts and the availability of other mitigating elements; terrorist acts; legal, financial and governmental risks related to international transactions and global needs for military aircraft, military and civilian electronic systems and support, information technology, naval vessels, space systems, technical services and related technologies, as well as other economic, political and technological risks and uncertainties and other risk factors set out in the Company's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, Company reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.

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CONTRACT AWARDS

The estimated value of contract awards included in backlog during the three months ended March 31, 2008 , is approximately $12.1 billion. Significant new awards during this period include $1.5 billion for the Air Mobility tanker program, $1.4 billion for the Zumwalt-class destroyer, $596 million for the CVN 78 bridge contract, $208 million for the VIS IDIQ program, $195 million for the LAIRCM IDIQ program, and $183 million for the ICBM program. In addition, the company was awarded approximately $2.6 billion for restricted programs during this period.

On February 29, 2008 , the company was awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force to replace its aerial refueling tanker fleet. Included in backlog is approximately $1.5 billion for this contract to provide four System Design and Development aircraft of which $61 million has been funded. The other bidder for the contract subsequently protested the decision by the U.S. Air Force to award the contract to the company. The U.S. Air Force issued a stop work order to the company pending the resolution of this matter. The Government Accountability Office is currently reviewing the protest and is expected to reach its decision in June 2008 .

The estimated value of contract awards during the three months ended March 31, 2007 , is approximately $7.3 billion. Significant new awards during this period include $1 billion for LPD 25, $875 million for the Flat Sequencing System program, $235 million for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program, $133 million for the Euro Hawk program, and $118 million for the Large Aircraft Infrared Counter-measures Indefinite Delivery and Indefinite Quantity program. In addition, the company was awarded approximately $688 million for restricted programs during this period.

SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation



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