PhillyInc: Good earnings news for two with area ties

Posted: April 25, 2013

Two corporate giants with significant operations in the Philadelphia area have joined the earnings lovefest that Wall Street seems to be enjoying.

DuPont Co., based in Wilmington, reported operating earnings of $1.56 per share, which beat analyst estimates of $1.53 per share, according to Bloomberg News. Shares of DuPont rose $2.08 to close at $52.49.

As much as we tend to associate DuPont with the Corian, Kevlar, Teflon, and Tyvek brands, agricultural products drove its first quarter. Sales for its agricultural segment increased 14 percent to $4.7 billion, or 45 percent of total sales of $10.4 billion.

Beating those analyst estimates apparently mattered a lot to investors, because DuPont's operating earnings per share were down 5 percent from the $1.64 it reported for the first quarter of 2012.

I still look at the bottom line (diluted earnings per share), and that shows DuPont with $3.58 per share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with just $1.58 per share for the same period last year.

The other company to report better-than-expected results was Lockheed Martin Corp.

No industry sounded the alarm more about the potential impact of the automatic federal spending cuts, called sequestration, than military contractors. Given that the cuts didn't go into effect until March 1, there was only a slight impact on the quarterly results of Lockheed Martin, which employs more than 10,000 in this region.

But give it time, Lockheed Martin executives told analysts. The Bethesda, Md., company anticipates a $825 million hit to its 2013 sales, which sounds like a lot until you realize Lockheed Martin generated $11.1 billion in net sales just for its first quarter.

It's difficult to divine what such a loss of sales might mean for Lockheed Martin's diverse operations locally. After all, the company recently won a $100 million contract to build the next generation of the Aegis antimissile defense system in South Jersey.

Shares of Lockheed Martin closed at $97.06, up $1.21.


Contact Mike Armstrong at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com, or @PhillyInc on Twitter. Read his blog, "PhillyInc," at www.phillyinc.biz.  

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