Leidos [LDOS] on Tuesday reported strong increases in its top and bottom lines in the third quarter, driven by growth across its operating segments and receipt of a payment going back to the 2004 Olympics in Greece.
The company also reported record bookings and backlog, tallying $5.2 billion in orders that were nearly double sales that drove total backlog to $23.9 billion, up 15 percent from $20.8 billion since the end of 2018.
Net income was up 10 percent to $161 million, $1.11 earnings per share (EPS), from $147 million (96 cents EPS) a year ago. Adjusted earnings, which exclude non-operating expenses and certain tax impacts, were $1.36 EPS, which beat consensus estimates by 17 cents.
The company’s earnings benefited from a $59 million cash payment from the Greek government, which more than offset bad debt expense on some international contracts in the Civil segment. At the operating level, the bad debt expense combined with start-up costs on new programs and lower net profit write-ups in the Civil segment, more than offset increased income at the Health and Defense Solutions segments.
Sales increased 10 percent to $2.8 billion from $2.6 billion, with both the Health and Civil segments up double-digits and Defense Solutions in the high single digits. Growth drivers included new awards and higher program volumes.
For 2019, Leidos raised and narrowed its sales guidance to between $10.9 billion and $11 billion versus the prior outlook of $10.65 billion to $10.95 billion. Adjusted earnings are expected to be between $4.90 and $5.10 EPS versus prior projections of $4.50 to $4.75 EPS.
James Reagan, chief financial officer of Leidos, said on the company’s earnings call that boost in the sales outlook is due to new wins and an expansion of work under existing programs. He also said the company’s ability to hire new employees is helping to convert work in backlog into revenue.
The earnings guidance is up due to the higher net income in the third quarter and a lower share count due to repurchases of stock.
Leidos also raised its outlook for operating cash flow to at least $875 million from the prior guidance of $825 million.
Leidos didn’t provide guidance for 2020 but expects growth to continue given the strong backlog and bookings. The company also has about $35 billion in submitted bids awaiting decision, Roger Krone, chairman and CEO, said on the earnings call.
Krone also said that even if the federal government operates under a continuing resolution for its entire fiscal year 2020, which began on Oct. 1, it will have a minimal impact on Leidos’ outlook. Under a continuing resolution, the government operates on prior year spending levels and can’t initiate new programs.
Krone said there are few new start programs in the company’s opportunity set.