Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Tuesday reported lower sales in its third quarter and reduced its outlook for revenue for 2021 with further declines expected in 2022 before rebounding to growth beginning in 2023.
Combined with the depressed sales outlook at least through 2022 and a cut to the forecast for operating cash flow this year, investors sent Lockheed Martin’s shared down $44.43, nearly 12 percent, to close at $331.90 on Tuesday.
James Taiclet, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, said on the company’s earnings call that the expected closing of its pending acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne
[AJRD] has been pushed back a quarter until the first quarter of 2022. The Federal Trade Commission is scrutinizing the deal for potential anti-competitive concerns.
John Mollard, Lockheed Martin’s acting chief financial officer, said that with interest rates so low, he’s considering tapping the financial markets to fund the entire deal for Aerojet Rocketdyne instead of following the original plan of financing $3 billion and spending $1.5 billion in cash.
Lower sales in the quarter were due in part to larger than expected supply chain impacts at three of the company’s operating segments, Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) and Space, John Mollard, Lockheed Martin’s acting chief financial officer, said on the company’s earnings call. The supply chain disruptions will “incrementally” go away over the next 12 to 18 months, he said.
Net income in the quarter was $614 million, $2.21 earnings per share (EPS), about one-third of the $1.8 billion ($6.25 EPS) in profit a year ago. The result still topped consensus estimates by 29 cents EPS.
A non-cash charge related to previously announced pension costs chopped $1.3 billion ($4.72 EPS) from the bottom line.
At the operating level, all four of the company’s segments posted higher income. Profit drivers included the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) and hypersonic missile development programs, risk retirements on several helicopter programs and higher volume for the Combat Rescue Helicopter at the Sikorsky business unit.
Sales in the quarter shrank 3 percent to $16 billion from $16.5 billion a year ago on declines at the Space, Missiles and Fire Control, and Aeronautics segments.
The lower sales were due to the renationalization of the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) program, the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and Hellfire missile programs, lower volume on the SNIPER target pod and Infrared Search and Track programs, and lower volume related to F-35 fighter development and production contracts.
The sales forecast for 2021 is $67 billion, down from the prior range of between $67.3 billion and $68.7 billion due to the supply chain problems at Aeronautics, MFC and Space. Mollard said that many of the company’s “suppliers are still dealing with the financial stress caused by the global pandemic,” which is being felt more by companies that supply products for both commercial aerospace and defense programs than strictly defense suppliers.
Lockheed Martin accelerated $1.5 billion in advance payments to many of its small and medium-size suppliers to help them out during the quarter.
Earnings this year are expected to be about $22.45 EPS, up from the previous outlook of between $21.95 and $22.25 EPS. Operating cash flow is expected to be at least $8.3 billion, down from the prior forecast of at least $8.9 billion.
For 2022, sales are expected to be about $66 billion, segment operating margin 11 percent, and operating cash flow at least $8.4 billion. The slump is due to supply chain impacts, slower U.S. defense budget growth, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the loss of the U.K.’s AWE work, and the new baseline for F-35 production at lower peak rates, Taiclet said.
The largest headwinds going into 2022 is the loss of the AWE work, which is close to $900 million, a $600 million combined decline in the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellite programs, a decrease of about $400 million in the F-35 program, and $200 million for a Special Operations logistics support program related to the U.S. withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, Mollard said.
Beginning in 2023 and continuing through at least 2026, Lockheed Martin expects to resume its sales growth. Sales are expected to increase slightly in 2023 and “steadily” increase through 2026, Taiclet said.
Taiclet outlined four pillars of longer-term growth, including the company’s six hypersonic programs with “multiple programs” entering production between 2023 and 2026. Currently, hypersonic programs contributed $1.5 billion to annual sales and this could double to $3 billion by 2026 as programs transition to production, Mollard said.
Classified programs will be another growth driver as work moves into production between 2023 and 2026, Taiclet said. Mollard said growth here could exceed 5 percent.
Current programs, including the CH-53K helicopter, sustainment for the F-35, increased Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-missile and anti-craft missile production, and FBM modernization, will also contribute to future growth, Taiclet said. These programs combined currently generate $8.5 billion in sales and should grow 8 percent annually through 2026, Mollard said.
Between 2020 and 2026, Lockheed Martin is forecasting flat sales from F-35 production, with revenue from the program’s sustainment efforts rising 6 percent annually and development work up 1 percent annually.
New business opportunities such as the Army’s Future Vertical Lift programs, the Missile Defense Agency’s Next Generation Interceptor, and the Air Force’s KC-Y tanker program, also represent significant long-term growth drivers, he said.
If all goes well and Lockheed Martin executes and wins some of the new opportunities, work in these four pillars will grow from about $17 billion annually at about 9 percent compounded annually, Mollard said.
Lockheed Martin recently increased its authorization for repurchasing shares and Taiclet said the company expects to buy up to $6 billion worth of its shares in the next 12 to 18 months. He also said that future capital deployments will be aimed at investments that boost free cash flow per share, “that’s our new metric.”
Taiclet said the accelerated share repurchase over the next year or two to reduce the share count will provide shareholders with an “amplified benefit” when growth returns.