Northrop Grumman [NOC] on Thursday said it can’t currently predict the impact on its business from the COVID-19 pandemic but warned investors of potential increased borrowing costs and of potential disruptions to its customers and operations.
In addition to higher capital costs and limits to capital, the company warned that “If significant portions of our workforce are unable to work effectively, including because of illness, quarantines, government actions, facility closures or other restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, our operations will likely be impacted. We may be unable to perform fully on our contracts and our costs may increase as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. These cost increases may not be fully recoverable or adequately covered by insurance.”
Northrop Grumman in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not indicate that there is currently a material impact to the company due to COVID-19. The filing is included in a prospectus the company filed with the SEC related to the issuance new bonds.
Northrop Grumman disclosed its warnings in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At least one company employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at a facility in Melbourne, Fla., according to news reports there. Northrop Grumman is headquartered in Northern Virginia.
Boeing [BA] earlier in the week issued statements warning of “an urgent challenge” facing the aerospace industry, at least in the near-term, from the impacts of the pandemic on airline passenger traffic and called for at least $60 billion in public and private liquidity for aerospace manufacturers to help maintain the supply chain.
“The long-term outlook for the industry is still strong, but until global passenger traffic resumes to normal levels, these measures are needed to manage the pressure on the aviation sector and the economy as a whole,” Boeing said on March 17.
Northrop Grumman, which relies primarily on the U.S. government, in particular the Defense Department, for most of its revenue, also highlighted potential supply chain disruptions and the challenges by its government customers in making payments as concerns.
“We continue to work with our stakeholders (including customers, employees, suppliers and local communities) to address responsibly this global pandemic,” Northrop Grumman said. “We continue to monitor the situation, to assess further possible implications to our business, supply chain and customers, and to take actions in an effort to mitigate adverse consequences.”
A spokesman for Northrop Grumman told Defense Daily on Thursday that the situation is “fluid” and “changing daily,” but that the company is keeping close tabs on the situation.
“The health, safety and well-being of our employees is our highest priority,” the spokesman said. “We are frequently communicating the most current information and guidance to our employees, to ensure they are informed.”
Actions that Northrop Grumman is taking include halting travel, limiting non-essential visitors, increasing the use of tele-work to limiting the number of employees on sites, canceling large gatherings, and ensuring work environments remain clean and disinfected, he said.
Earlier this week, Lockheed Martin [LMT] released a prepared statement in response to media queries about the impacts of COVID-19 on the company.
“National security never stops and Lockheed Martin plays an essential role in the national security industrial base, supporting the critical missions of our customers in the United States and abroad,” the company said. “We are working directly with and monitoring in real time the steps taken by federal, state and local officials to minimize the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We continue to use best practices to mitigate risks and protect the health and well-being of our employees and partners, while ensuring we meet our commitments to national security.”