Lockheed suffers earnings slide

The Defense Department's No. 1 contractor reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter 2000 earnings fell by 70 percent compared with the same period the previous year.

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s earnings fell from $293 million to $89 million. And its earnings per share for the fourth quarter dropped from 76 cents in 1999 to 21 cents in 2000.

Lockheed is the U.S. military's top contractor, according to a Pentagon list released this week that measures the net value of contract awards in fiscal 2000 that were at least $25,000. Lockheed had $15.12 billion in such business last year. The list doesn't include non-DOD contracts that Defense agencies use to buy goods and services.

Lockheed's fourth-quarter earnings were affected by the sale of business units and the early retirement of debt, among other things. If not for such one-time costs, the company's fourth-quarter profit would have been slightly higher than expected.

Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin president and chief operating officer, said the company is moving from a state of recovery to one of disciplined growth—a position that helped boost the company's stock value Thursday by $2.51 to $34.51.

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