Lockheed Martin reports decreased earnings compared to third quarter of 2020

France's second KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refueler takes off from Lockheed Martin's facility in Marietta, Georgia, upon delivery in 2019.France's second KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refueler takes off from Lockheed Martin's facility in Marietta, Georgia, upon delivery in 2019 (photo provided courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin, which has been a major employer in Cobb County for decades, held its third quarter conference call, and announced a decrease in earnings from this time last year.

Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO James Taiclet also gave a forecast of reduced revenue in 2020, followed by several years of flat growth.

In a press release, the company reported $16 billion in sales in the third quarter of this year compared to $16.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020.

Net earnings were $614 million in the third quarter of this year, compared to $1.8 billion in 2020, or a drop from $6.25 per share to $2.21 per share.

Cash from operations remained stable at $1.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021 and 2020.

Regarding the transfer of Lockheed Martin’s pension obligations to Athene Holdings, the company’s press release stated:

Third quarter 2021 net earnings include a noncash pension settlement charge of $1.7 billion ($1.3 billion, or $4.72 per share, after-tax) related to the purchase of group annuity contracts to transfer $4.9 billion of gross pension obligations and related plan assets to an insurance company, and unrealized gains of $98 million ($74 million, or $0.27 per share, after-tax) due to increases in the fair value of investments held in the Lockheed Martin Ventures Fund.

“During the third quarter, the men and women of Lockheed Martin continued to deliver essential products and capabilities for domestic and allied national defense, and for pioneering civil space endeavors,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO James Taiclet. “At the same time, we continued to advance the state of the art and innovation across key technologies, including Future Vertical Lift, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, hypersonic weapon systems, next generation satellites, and many others.

“In addition, we have recently undertaken a reassessment of our five-year business plan given recent external and programmatic events. Our conclusions, which are reflected in our updated 2021 guidance and subsequent trend information, reflect continuing strong cash flow generation, but a slight reduction in revenue in 2022 and roughly flat to low-single-digit growth rates in both revenue and segment operating profit over the next few years, with increasing growth opportunities in the years that follow.

“Consequently, we are adjusting our capital allocation strategy with two major objectives. First, to expand further our robust reinvestment in the company to serve our customers’ evolving needs through capital projects and independent research and development for mid- to long-term enhanced growth performance. Simultaneously, we plan to reward shareholders with continued dividend growth and meaningful increases to the scale and rate of our share repurchase program. Over the short-, mid- and long-term, we will strive to maximize cash flow per share dynamically, based on revenue growth opportunities, inorganic investments, and share repurchases to take full advantage of our significant cash flow generation and strong balance sheet.”

Lockheed Martin and Cobb County

The Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta has been a major employer in Cobb County since 1951, when the Lockheed Corporation, a predecessor of Lockheed Martin, took over the former site of the WWII Bell Bomber plant.

In response to a request by the Courier for a previous article, the spokesperson for the Marietta operations of the company wrote:

The C-130 remains the largest program at the Marietta site. We are currently building the C-130J Super Hercules and I’ve attached our updated Fast Facts for insights on that program. We’ve produced every production model C-130 at the Marietta site, which means Hercs have been rolling out of Marietta for almost 66 years. It’s staple here in Cobb County! You can learn more about the C-130J in our brochure located here.

We also provide support (i.e., sustainment) for the C-5 Galaxy, which wrapped up a major modification providing 52 C-5s with new engines and avionics, in 2018. We celebrated the C-5’s 50th anniversary in 2018 and expect to see that aircraft in service – thanks to its upgrades and unique hauling capabilities – until 2045. See press release for more information. We also support the P-3 Orion through Marietta-based teams. Additionally, we manufacture F-35 center wings here in Marietta.