Raytheon Technologies Corp. [RTX] on Thursday said it isn’t providing financial guidance yet for 2020 because the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the commercial aerospace market have created significant uncertainty but the company’s outlook for its defense businesses is largely intact and strong.
RTC said it would revisit providing guidance for this year when it reports second quarter results this summer.
The company’s internal responses to the pandemic, such as increased teleworking, social distancing, enhanced cleaning of facilities, routine temperature scanning of employees, and provisioning of personal protection equipment, is expected to reduce the bottom line this year by between 8 to 10 cents earnings per share (EPS), RTC CEO Greg Hayes said on the first quarter earnings call.
Despite the severe and complicated headwinds to the global commercial aerospace market created by the ongoing pandemic, there are still “some knowns that should serve as tailwinds,” Anthony “Toby” O’Brien, RTC’s chief financial officer (CFO) and previously CFO of the former Raytheon Company, said on the call.
The defense businesses are “on solid background” with record backlog and a line of sight to grow them over the next few years, O’Brien said. Expectations for defense haven’t changed much, with sales growth from the legacy Raytheon Co. businesses expected to be between 6 and 8 percent this year, down $200 million or just under a percent from the prior outlook due to COVID-19 impacts, he said.
Backlog at the legacy Raytheon Co. stood at $51.3 billion at the end of the first quarter, up 25 percent or $10.2 billion from a year ago, driven by strong bookings of $10.3 billion.
Guidance for operating profit at the legacy Raytheon Co. was also adjusted downward largely due to purchase accounting synergies, $25 million for COVID impacts, and $16 million for the sale of the airborne tactical radio business to BAE Systems
. O’Brien said the profit adjustments are not permanent and are strictly due to timing.
O’Brien said international demand for defense products will remain, adding later that a “big award” from Saudi Arabia for the AN/TPY-2 air and missile defense radar is on track and expected in the next few months.
He reminded investors that when oil prices tanked a few years ago analysts had the same questions about demand for Raytheon Co. systems from the Middle East “and we came out of that strong with no implications and that’s how we see this playing out as well.”
Hayes said that with oil prices low Saudi Arabia and most of the company’s customers are challenged, which creates uncertainties, but the threat environment is unchanged in the Middle East and a “solid defense posture” is still a priority for governments in the region and for the U.S. He pointed out that the legacy Raytheon international business, which accounted for about 30 percent of sales, includes a strong customer base outside of the Middle East.
As for the Middle East, “good cash” is still coming in from customers there for defense equipment, Hayes said.
Other knowns that will help the company manage through the current crisis include $1 billion in planned cost savings synergies that are still on track as part of merger integration activities, $2 billion in planned near-term cost reductions and $4 billion in actions to conserve cash all related to commercial aerospace, Hayes and O’Brien said.
The company also plans to spread its planned return of $18 billion to $20 billion in capital to shareholders over four years instead of the previously outlined three, Hayes said. There will be no share repurchases this year due to the uncertain economic environment, he said.
Reporting financial results for the first time since RTC was created through the merger of United Technologies and Raytheon Co., RTC posted first quarter financials based on legacy UTC operations and separated results for Raytheon Co. because the merger closed shortly after the first quarter ended. The legacy UTC operations include the Otis elevator and Carrier heating and air conditioning segments, which have been divested.
RTC swung to a net loss of $83 million, negative 10 cents earnings per share (EPS), in the first quarter versus $1.3 billion ($1.56 EPS) a year ago. The 2020 first quarter included a $1.66 hit to EPS from separation activities related to Otis and Carrier. Adjusting for the divestitures, per share results of $1.78 in the quarter beat consensus estimates by 73 cents EPS.
Operating profit at the Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney military and commercial engine segments, which remain with RTC, were up in the quarter.
Net income of $790 million at the former Raytheon was up 2 percent versus $775 million a year ago driven by higher operating income at Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), Missile Systems, and Space and Airborne Systems (SAS), partially offset by a decline at the Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) segment and a wider loss at the Forcepoint commercial cyber security segment.
RTC reported sales of $18.2 billion, down 1 percent from $18.4 billion a year ago, with organic revenue flat quarter over quarter. The slight drop in sales was driven by declines at Carrier, Otis and Collins, partially offset by a gain at Pratt & Whitney, which benefited from higher revenue from commercial engine and aftermarket work and from military engines.
Raytheon’s sales in the first quarter were up nearly 7 percent to $7.2 billion from $6.7 billion a year ago, driven by increases at SAS, IDS and Missile Systems, partially offset by a slight decline at IIS. Forcepoint also posted lower sales.
RTC’s backlog at the end of the quarter stood at around $71 billion, with about $20 million from legacy UTC, and free cash flow was $249 million.