PRIVATE colorchange:<c”Black”> PRIVATE para:<*p(,12.000,,10.000,,,G,)> PRIVATE hnjset:<*h”Great H&J’s”> Northrop Grumman
Sales for fourth-quarter 2005 for Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman’s Space Technology segment increased 1 percent from the same time period in 2004, as the unit brought in $815 million in space sales.
The quarter’s strong results in space technology can be attributed to higher sales in civil space, as well as in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Wes Bush, the company’s chief financial officer, said during a Nov. 24 conference call with analysts . Civil space sales increased 9 percent from the previous year’s fourth quarter.
Also during the call, Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Officer Ron Sugar said the company is pleased that the Quadrennial Defense Review, which is used to guide the defense budget and other military plans, is expected to contain an emphasis on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and reconnaissance work.
A draft of the report was released in mid-January.
“That plays to our strengths,” Sugar said. “We have significant capacity, and if there were more of an appetite [for UAVs], we would find a way to accommodate it.” In general, Sugar said the draft contained little surprises or things to which the company would object. Sugar also said Northrop Grumman considers NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle among the prime contracts it is eyeing for 2006.
Net income overall for Northrop Grumman’s fourth-quarter 2005 increased to $331 million from $272 million in fourth-quarter 2004. Sales remained relatively unchanged from the same quarter last year, at $7.9 billion.
Contract acquisitions for Northrop Grumman during the quarter were affected by the delay of the 2006 defense budget, Sugar said during the call.
“We fully expect to recover the delayed acquisitions,” Sugar said. The company was pleased that programs such as the National Polar- orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System and the Advanced Extra High Frequency military communications satellite weren’t slashed in the budget, Sugar said.
PRIVATE colorchange:<c”Black”> PRIVATE para:<*p(,12.000,,10.000,,,G,)> PRIVATE hnjset:<*h”Great H&J’s”> Ball Aerospace & Technologies
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Broomfield, Colo., finished 2005 with what its parent company’s chief financial officer called an excellent fourth quarter and a record-high year overall.
In the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, earnings for the aerospace segment of Ball Corp. were $15.7 million, up from $13.5 million for the same period in 2004. Fourth-quarter sales were $167 million for the quarter, up from $161 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.
For 2005 overall, Ball’s aerospace sales were $694.8 million, compared to $653 million the year before. Several important contracts boosted the company’s backlog for the year to $761 million, the highest it has ever been, said R. David Hoover, chief executive officer of Ball Corp., said during a conference call with investors Jan. 26. Hoover said the company is expanding its facilities to meet the expected growth in demand for the segment’s products and services.
“We expect another strong year in our aerospace and technologies segment, though operating earnings could decline marginally due to an increase in non cash pension costs,” Hoover said in a prepared statement issued prior to the conference call. “Strong demand continues for our capabilities and we see opportunities for sustained growth in defense/intelligence, remote sensing and space exploration in particular.”
Hoover also praised the aerospace division’s most visible 2005 project, the Deep Impact spacecraft it built for NASA that successfully penetrated a comet and recorded the event. “Our history has been to build on past successes in order to expand our future market presence,” Hoover said in the Jan. 26 press release.
Raymond Seabrook, Ball’s chief financial officer, said during the call that the company will continue to expand its aerospace facilities and see growth in the aerospace market in 2006, which is the aerospace business’s 50th anniversary.
PRIVATE colorchange:<c”Black”> PRIVATE para:<*p(,12.000,,10.000,,,G,)> PRIVATE hnjset:<*h”Great H&J’s”> United Technologies
United Technology Corp.’s (UTC) acquisition of Boeing’s Rocketdyne unit helped contribute to company growth in the fourth-quarter 2005.
Ken Parks, director of investor relations for Hartford, Conn.-based UTC, said during a conference call with investors Jan. 24 that the Rocketdyne acquisition accounted for a third of the quarter’s revenue increase for Pratt & Whitney, which is owned by UTC. Parks said the acquisition also was a key booster for UTC as a whole, which saw revenues increase from $9.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2004 to $11.3 billion in fourth-quarter 2005.
Pratt & Whitney’s revenues for the quarter ending Dec. 31 were $2.6 billion, up from $2.2 billion for the same quarter in 2004. The division saw operating profit grow to $362 million, up from $280 million in 2004. Parks attributed the increases to a growth in new engine deliveries and aftermarket orders, as well as high engine volumes in Pratt & Whitney’s Canadian segment.
Pratt & Whitney saw continued strength in its commercial aerospace business during the quarter, Parks said, as did UTC’s Hamilton Sundstrand unit, which produces aerospace and industrial products. Parks said during the call that the company expects commercial space revenue to continue to grow in 2006.
Hamilton Sundstrand’s revenues were $1.2 billion for the quarter, up from $1.1 billion for fourth-quarter 2004. Operating profit at Hamilton Sundstrand increased from $152 million in fourth-quarter 2004 to $174 million in fourth-quarter 2005.