Asset sale boosts Lockheed Martin profit

Lockheed Martin logged fourth-quarter net income of $568 million, a 53-percent increase from the $375 million reported in the same company last year.

Company officials said the sale of some assets and growth in the defense contractor's information technology business contributed to the increase. The profits are from total revenue of $10.2 billion, which is only a 3 percent increase from the $9.97 billion recorded a year ago.

The results reflect an after-tax gain of $55 million from the sale of Inmarsat stock and an after-tax gain of $19 million from the sale of Lockheed Martin’s investment in NeuStar, according to the company.

The company’s IT segment also contributed to the increases, with operating profit 24.7 percent higher than in the same period a year ago. IT accounted for $1.18 billion in sales and $101 million in operating profit in the recent quarter, compared to $1.04 billion in sales for a profit of $81 million in the same period last year.

Information and Technology Services is part of Lockheed Martin’s Systems and IT Group. Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said he expects that business to account for two-thirds or more of the company’s sales in the next few years. In 2005, the Systems and IT Group represented half the company’s sales.

Stevens said government IT, including outsourcing, is an area of focus for the company. He said the diversity of applications and customers is expanding.

Contracts that Lockheed plans to or is pursuing include General Services Administration’s Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract and the FBI’s Sentinel project.

In the Homeland Security Department, Lockheed Martin is pursuing the Secure Border Initiative, the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge solutions program, the Integrated Wireless Network and others, Stevens said. The latter program involves the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Treasury.

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