April 25, 2019 / 12:12 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 3-Raytheon profit beats expectations; shares drop on unchanged outlook

(Updates shares, adds details on missiles unit)

By Ankit Ajmera and Mike Stone

April 25 (Reuters) - Shares of Raytheon Co slumped nearly 6 percent on Thursday after the U.S. weapons maker reported a jump in its quarterly profit but left its earnings outlook for the year unchanged.

Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk missile, and other U.S. weapons makers have been expected to benefit from higher defense spending under U.S. President Donald Trump as well as strong global demand for advanced weapons and munitions.

The company reaffirmed it expected earnings per share from continuing operations to be between $11.40 and $11.60 in 2019. It also left its forecast for net sales for the year in a range of $28.6 billion to $29.1 billion.

When asked why the company didn't raise its guidance for 2019, Raytheon Chief Financial Officer Toby O'Brien told Reuters in an interview, "We did see some higher sales volume which was really timing ... related to the quarter, but that also gives us confidence ... in our outlook in the range for the year."

In a research note, Robert Stallard, an analyst at Vertical Research, said "there could be some disappointment about the unchanged 2019 guidance."

Shares of Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon were down 5.5 percent to $175.31 in late morning trading.

Income from continuing operations jumped to $775 million, or $2.77 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $624 million, or $2.20 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 7.4 percent to $6.73 billion.

Analysts on average had expected first-quarter earnings of $2.47 per share on revenue of $6.62 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Sales in the Raytheon's intelligence, information and services unit (IIS), its second biggest by revenue, increased 12.3 percent to $1.78 billion in the quarter, helped by higher revenue from "classified programs."

Operating margin in the intelligence, information and services business, which provides cybersecurity support to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, surged to 10.5 percent from 7.4 percent.

The Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) unit, which makes sensors for satellites, saw operating income increase 10 percent in the quarter to $212 million.

"We saw IIS and SAS with strong performance and we improved their total year outlook. But those improvements at IIS and SAS, they were effectively offset by some decreases in the margin outlook at Missiles based upon the quarter in the year," O'Brien said.

Raytheon's Missile Systems unit saw its operating income decrease by 10 percent to $190 million in the quarter from a year earlier due to operating inefficiencies.

In a call with analysts after the release of the quarterly results, Raytheon Chief Executive Thomas Kennedy said "we are implementing action plans to improve program execution." O'Brien told analysts the company expected more than $9 billion in bookings for the unit in 2019.

Raytheon also reiterated its full-year outlook for operating cash flow from continuing operations of between $3.9 billion and $4.1 billion. (Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru Editing by Bernadette Baum and Paul Simao)

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