L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LLL) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 31, 2012. L-3 Communications is a system contractor in aircraft modernization and maintenance, serving customers in commercial telecommunications and government.

L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $2.41 per share, a rise of 1.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $2.49. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $2.41 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $8.73 per share, a rise of 4.7% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 9 cents, reporting net income of $2.24 per share against a mean estimate of profit of $2.15 per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 1.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.18 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about L-3 Communications Holdings with 11 of 14 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 1.3% to $235 million ($2.24 a share) from $238 million ($2.07 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue fell 1.3% to $3.79 billion from $3.83 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters. Revenue fell 5% in second quarter from the year earlier and 0.6% in the first quarter.

The decrease in profit in the third quarter came after net income rose in the previous quarter. In the second quarter, net income rose 6.6%.

Competitors to Watch: Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC), FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR), Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL), ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT), Herley Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:HRLY), Innovative Solutions & Support Inc (NASDAQ:ISSC)  and Irvine Sensors Corporation (IRSN).

Stock Price Performance: During November 25, 2011 to January 25, 2012, the stock price had risen $7.32 (11.6%) from $63.29 to $70.61. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 18, 2011 and April 28, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 7.3% (+$5.34) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 1, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for 11-straight days, falling 8.3% (-$7.21) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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