Northrop Grumman sales help push up third-quarter earnings

Financial figures rise; information systems business remains relatively flat

Northrop Grumman Corp. posted a strong third quarter overall as sales, revenue and net income increased, compared to the same quarter in 2009, the company reported today.

Sales rose 4 percent, from $8.35 billion in the third quarter of 2009 to $8.7 billion this year. Its reported net income for the third quarter of 2010 increased from $490 million in 2009 to $497 million. And its earnings from continuing operations increased to $489 million, up from $464 million in 2009, according to the company’s financial report.

“Third-quarter results demonstrate that our focus on sustainable performance improvement continues to gain traction across the corporation. All our businesses performed well,” said Wes Bush, president and CEO of Northrop Grumman.

While Northrop's financials rose, its information systems business segment remained relatively flat compared to 2009, with $2.123 billion in sales in 2010’s third quarter compared to $2.118 billion in 2009, for a 0.2 percent increase. However, for the first nine months of 2010, sales slipped 1 percentage point, falling to $6.310 billion this year from $6.362 billion in 2009.

In the third quarter of 2010, Northrop Grumman saw increased sales in defense systems, but they were largely offset by lower sales of intelligence and civil systems programs.

Like other corporations, Northrop Grumman is streamlining its operations to reduce expenses wherever it can. In the third quarter, operating income increased 13 percent and as a percentage of sales totaled 8.9 percent compared to 7.9 percent in the third quarter in 2009. The figures reflect an improved program performance for civil systems, the company said.

Northrop's electronic systems segment increased 2 percent in 2010, rising from $1.839 billion in 2009 to $1.874 billion. Sales over the first nine months of 2010 also rose 3 percent compared to 2009, from $5.594 billion last year to $5.740 billion.

Northrop Grumman, of Los Angeles, ranks No. 2 on Washington Technology's 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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