Northrop Grumman revenues slide in first quarter

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Northrop Grumman Corp.’s first-quarter profit fell 7 percent as revenue decreased across its business segments.

The defense contractor reported $6.2 billion in revenues for the first quarter, down from $6.7 billion for the first quarter of 2011. The company reported an 8 percent decline in sales in its Aerospace Systems segment, its largest business segment, because of lower sales for manned military aircraft and space programs.

Profit for the quarter was down 4.5 percent to $506 million, or $1.96 per diluted share, compared with $530 million, or $1.79 million in the first quarter of 2011. The diluted earnings per share figure was affected by a decrease of weighted shares outstanding.

Earnings from continuing operations increased 2 percent to $506 million, compared with $496 million the same period the year before. The company has been streamlining operations because of lower defense spending and repurchased 4.4 billion shares in the first quarter.

“We are off to a strong start for the year in a challenging environment. First quarter results demonstrate our team’s ability to drive affordability by performing on our programs, reducing costs and improving the efficiency of our businesses,” Northrop Grumman CEO and Chairman Wes Bush said in a statement. “We continue to focus on performance, effective cash deployment and alignment of our portfolio with our customers’ priority investment areas.”

The company raised its earnings guidance for the year to a range of $6.70 to $6.95 per diluted share from a range of $6.40 to $6.70 per diluted share.

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