2 Defense Stocks Seeing Higher Trade Activity After Earnings

BE Aerospace Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAV) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter.  Net income for the aerospace/defense products and services company rose to $57.3 million (56 cents per share) vs. $31.2 million (31 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 83.7% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 20.8% to $654.7 million from the year earlier quarter. BEAV reported adjusted net income of 60 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 56 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $655.6 million.

Amin J. Khoury, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BE Aerospace said, “I am pleased to report that our 2011 results were the best in the Company’s history. Sales, earnings, cash flow, bookings and backlog were all records.  In addition, the Company’s operating margin expanded 120 basis points to 17.1 percent (17.3 percent adjusted).  The substantial margin expansion was driven by our commercial aircraft and business jet segments which more than offset the margin drag from the consumables management segment acquisitions which we have now begun to integrate.”

Competitors to Watch: TransDigm Group Inc. (NYSE:TDG), CPI Aerostructures, Inc. (AMEX:CVU), Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ:ATRO), Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE:DCO), Breeze-Eastern Corporation (AMEX:BZC), Goodrich Corporation (NYSE:GR), LMI Aerospace, Inc. (NASDAQ:LMIA), Boeing (NYSE:BA), and Spirit AeroSystems Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:SPR).

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for Northrop Grumman Corporation rose to $548 million ($2.09 per share) vs. $376 million ($1.03 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 45.7% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 5.8% to $6.51 billion from the year earlier quarter. NOC beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.68 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $6.69 billion.

“Fourth quarter and full year results demonstrate our progress in achieving superior operating performance and effective cash deployment. Our businesses drove higher operating income, earnings, cash and a strong book-to-bill ratio for the quarter. Our 2012 guidance reflects our continued commitment to performance, affordability for our customers and strong cash generation. While we are in a challenging environment, we believe that we can continue to create value for shareholders, customers and employees,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president.

Competitors to Watch: Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN), Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc (NASDAQ:KTOS), L-3 Communications Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:LLL), ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT), Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB), Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL), and BAE Systems PLC (BAESY).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com