Huntington Ingalls marks one-year anniversary of spin off

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Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. marked its one-year anniversary of becoming a publicly traded company Thursday as company executives rang the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Now we’re no longer a brand-new public company,” Mike Petters said during an interview with Virginia Business from the stock exchange. “We’re just another public company.”
Huntington Ingalls was spun off from Northrop Grumman Corp. last year. The company, headquartered in Newport News, is the Navy’s only builder of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

Petters said major changes for the Huntington Ingalls since becoming a publicly traded company included additional legal reporting, investor relations, and visits in New York and Washington, D.C. This all used to be handled by former parent company Northrop Grumman Corp. “Like shipbuilders, now that we’ve done it for the first time, we can turn our attention to how we can do it better.”

Petters rang the closing bell a day after the Huntington Ingalls reported its fourth-quarter earnings, which beat analyst expectations.

Petters said Thursday that budget debates in Washington would affect shipbuilding five to 10 years down the line rather than immediately. “We’re an international country that sits on two oceans.  The vast majority of our commerce comes over the sea. This is a country that needs a Navy and as long as the Navy needs us to build ships, we’ll be there.”

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