Aerospace & Defense

Lockheed, United Technologies Stocks Head in Opposite Directions After Earnings

Not even improved profits and higher sales were enough to light a fire under United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) stock after the company released fourth-quarter results Tuesday morning. Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) fared better with similar results. The difference was Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA).

UTC reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.94 on sales of $19.6 billion, which compared to a consensus estimate for EPS of $1.84 and sales of $19.38 billion. For the full year, the company posted EPS of $8.26 on sales of $77 billion, compared to an estimate of $8.15 and sales of $76.81 billion.

The company hauled in about 14% of its annual 2018 revenue from its defense business, but the coming merger with Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) and the spinning off of UTC’s Otis elevator and Carrier businesses into separate companies is likely to boost reliance on defense. In its earnings report, CEO Gregory Hayes said that the spinoffs are on track to take place in the second quarter and that UTC’s goal is to have the merger completed at the same time.

In the meantime, however, things look a bit rocky, thanks to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max. The company’s acquisition of Collins Aerospace that closed in November of 2018 contributed $6.44 billion in net sales last year and an operating profit of $905 million. Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney posted net sales of $5.64 billion and an operating profit of $340 million.

For 2020, UTC is forecasting Collins Aerospace sales to slip by a low single-digit percentage, “including an estimated 5 point headwind” due to the 737 Max grounding and divestitures related to the merger with Raytheon. Adjusted operating profits are forecast to drop to $275 million to $325 million (about $550 million to $600 million from $957 million in 2019). Collins provides aftermarket parts and service for Boeing airplanes. The 737 Max uses engines manufactured by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and French aerospace giant Safran.

Lockheed Martin reported fourth-quarter EPS of $5.29 on sales of $15.9 billion, up from EPS of $4.39 and sales of $14.41 billion in 2018. For the full year, EPS came in at $21.95 on sales of $59.81 billion. Analysts had forecast EPS of $5.02 and sales of $15.27 billion for the quarter and $21.67 in EPS on sales of $59.2 billion for the full year.

Annual cash from operations rose from $3.14 billion in 2018 to $7.31 billion last year, including discretionary pension contributions of $5 billion in 2018 and $1 billion in 2019. The 2018 total also includes a tax refund of $870 million.

For the year ahead, Lockheed is forecasting net sales of $62.75 billion to $64.25 billion and diluted EPS in a range of $23.65 to $23.95. Cash from operations is forecast to reach $7.6 billion or more.

United Technologies stock traded down about 0.9% early Tuesday, at $149.80 in a 52-week range of $115.50 to $155.53. The consensus price target on the stock is $166.13, and the company pays a dividend yield of 1.95%. UTC added more than 46% to its share price in 2019.

Lockheed Martin shares traded up about 1.35% at $438.15, above the 52-week range of $281.00 to $436.10. The consensus price target on the stock is $424.05, and the dividend yield is 2.22%. Lockheed shares jumped 60% last year.

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