Northrop Grumman Reports Third Quarter 2008 Results

LOS ANGELES , Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) reported that third quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations increased to $509 million, or $1.50 per diluted share, compared with $489 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2007. Third quarter 2007 earnings from continuing operations included an after-tax gain of $21 million, or $0.06 per share, for the reorganization of AMSEC LLC. Sales for the 2008 third quarter increased 6 percent to $8.4 billion from $7.9 billion in the 2007 third quarter. Cash provided by operations for the 2008 third quarter increased 35 percent to $1.4 billion compared with $1 billion in the prior year period.

"This was a strong quarter for Northrop Grumman," said Ronald D. Sugar , Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer. "We posted higher sales and earnings, and based on the strength of the quarter we are raising our guidance. New business awards were outstanding and drove our total backlog to a record of more than $70 billion. As expected, cash generation increased dramatically. Our strong cash flow, ample liquidity, and record backlog are a solid foundation for the future and reflect the hard work and dedication of our 120,000 employees."

Segment operating income for the 2008 third quarter totaled $768 million compared with $816 million in the prior year period. The decline is primarily due to lower operating income in Shipbuilding and Information Technology than in the prior year period. Third quarter 2007 Shipbuilding operating income included $45 million for favorable contract adjustments and $22 million for a pre-tax gain on the AMSEC reorganization. Third quarter 2008 segment operating income was impacted by a $57 million negative contract adjustment for Information Technology's New York City wireless program, which was partially offset by patent infringement settlements of $40 million in Electronics.

Operating income for the 2008 third quarter totaled $771 million compared with $806 million in the prior year period. The decrease is due to the decline in segment operating income and higher reversal of royalty income, which more than offset improvements in corporate unallocated expenses and net pension expense.

Interest expense improved by $10 million compared with the prior year period. Other income increased by $38 million due to higher royalty income than in the prior year period.

Federal and foreign income taxes for the 2008 third quarter totaled $233 million compared with $240 million in the third quarter of 2007. During the 2008 third quarter the company recognized net tax benefits totaling $21 million, primarily attributable to settlement of audits of TRW tax returns for the years 1999 through 2002. The effective tax rate applied to income from continuing operations for the 2008 third quarter was 31.4 percent compared with 32.9 percent in the 2007 third quarter.

Net earnings for the 2008 third quarter increased 5 percent to $512 million, or $1.51 per diluted share, from $489 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, for the same period of 2007. Earnings per share are based on weighted average diluted shares outstanding of 340.1 million for the third quarter of 2008 and 352.6 million for the third quarter of 2007. The weighted average share count reflects the net effect of share repurchases and the redemption or conversion of 6.4 million mandatorily redeemable convertible preferred shares into common shares on or before April 4, 2008 . Weighted average shares outstanding for the 2007 third quarter include the dilutive effect of 6.4 million shares of the company's mandatorily redeemable convertible preferred stock.

New business awards totaled $11.5 billion, resulting in a record total backlog of $70.1 billion for the company as of Sept. 30, 2008 . Total backlog includes funded backlog and firm orders for which funding is not currently contractually obligated by the customer.

Cash provided by operations in the 2008 third quarter increased to $1.4 billion from $1 billion in the prior year period, and free cash flow increased to $1.2 billion. The increase reflects substantially improved working capital and lower cash taxes.

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $1 billion at Sept. 30, 2008 compared with $963 million at Dec. 31, 2007 , and total debt was $3.9 billion at Sept. 30, 2008 . Changes in cash and cash equivalents and total debt include the following cash deployment, investing and financing actions during the first nine months of 2008:

Beginning with 2008 second quarter results, the company transferred certain missile systems programs from Mission Systems to Space Technology. Schedule 6 provides previously reported quarterly financial results and the adjustments for first and second quarter 2008 realignments and the second quarter 2008 sale of Electro-Optical Systems.

Information & Services third quarter 2008 sales increased 6 percent, primarily due to a 13 percent increase in Mission Systems sales. Operating income declined 13 percent, and as a percent of sales, totaled 6.3 percent compared with 7.7 percent. Higher sales and operating margin in Mission Systems and Technical Services were offset by a negative contract adjustment in Information Technology.

Mission Systems sales increased 13 percent due to higher volume for intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance programs and command, control & communications programs. Operating income increased 2 percent and as a percent of sales, totaled 9 percent compared with 10 percent in the prior year period. Higher operating income reflects higher volume than in the prior year period. The change in rate is attributable to fewer positive performance-related contract adjustments in this quarter than in the prior year period.

Information Technology sales declined 2 percent. Third quarter 2008 sales include higher volume for defense, intelligence and civilian agencies. Higher sales for these programs were offset by lower sales for commercial, state and local programs. Operating income declined 49 percent and as a percent of sales declined to 3.4 percent from 6.5 percent. The declines in sales, operating income and rate are due to a $57 million negative performance adjustment for the New York City Wireless program. The adjustment includes provisions related to a key supplier as well as a revised estimate of cost to complete the program. Third quarter 2007 operating income included negative adjustments for state and local IT outsourcing programs, including $22 million in increased amortization of deferred and other outsourcing costs.

Technical Services sales rose 6 percent due to higher volume for life cycle optimization and engineering programs. Operating income increased 11 percent, and as a percent of sales, increased to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent in the prior year period. The improvement in operating income and rate reflects higher volume, a greater percentage of higher margin life cycle optimization and engineering programs than in the prior year, and improved performance for those programs.

Aerospace third quarter 2008 sales increased 7 percent from the prior year period and include higher volume for both Integrated Systems and Space Technology. Aerospace third quarter 2008 operating income increased 4 percent, and as a percent of sales, totaled 9.7 percent compared with 9.9 percent in the prior year period.

Integrated Systems sales increased 7 percent due to higher volume for the UCAS-D, F/A-18, B-2, and restricted programs, partially offset by lower volume for the F-35 program. Operating income was comparable to the prior year period, and as a percent of sales totaled 10.7 percent compared with 11.6 percent in the prior year period. The decline in margin rate reflects initial lower margin on new programs and higher unallowable expenses than in the prior year period.

Space Technology sales increased 8 percent, primarily due to higher volume for restricted programs, and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, NPOESS, and James Webb Space Telescope programs. Higher volume for these programs was partially offset by lower volume for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Space Radar programs. Operating income increased 14 percent, and as a percent of sales improved to 8.3 percent from 7.9 percent. The improvement in operating income and rate is due to higher volume as well as the achievement of technical performance milestones and risk reduction on several programs.

Electronics third quarter 2008 sales increased 15 percent from the prior year period principally due to higher unit deliveries of land forces products and combat avionics systems, as well as higher sales for surveillance systems and postal automation programs.

Electronics third quarter 2008 operating income increased 25 percent, and as a percent of sales, increased to 14.6 percent from 13.4 percent. Third quarter 2008 operating income includes $40 million of patent infringement settlements. Operating income for the 2007 third quarter included favorable performance adjustments on several programs.

Shipbuilding third quarter 2008 sales declined 1 percent from the prior year due to lower volume for expeditionary warfare and U.S. Coast Guard programs than in the prior year period, primarily due to Gulf Coast shipyards work stoppages caused by Hurricane Gustav. Lower volume for these programs was partially offset by higher volume for aircraft carriers and surface combatants.

Shipbuilding third quarter 2008 operating income declined 36 percent from the prior year period, and as a percent of sales, totaled 8.1 percent compared with 12.5 percent in the prior year period. Third quarter 2007 operating income and margin rate included $45 million for positive contract adjustments due to recognition of risk reduction upon completion of several contract actions, as well as a $22 million pre-tax gain resulting from the AMSEC reorganization. Third quarter 2008 operating income and rate also reflect the impact of lower volume and a $16 million negative contract adjustment for cost growth and schedule delays resulting from Hurricane Ike disruption to a major subcontractor on the LPD program.

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 12:30 p.m. EDT on Oct. 22, 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," "forecast," "intend," "anticipate," "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 income, 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 and regulatory requirements; 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; the availability and retention of skilled labor; 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 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 as updated by Form 8-K filed on July 29, 2008 and Form 10-Q.

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