LMT Earnings Consensus Estimate at $1.94 EPS, UAL Earnings Estimate at $.12 EPS

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) is expected to report Q4 earnings on Thursday, January 26 before the market open with a conference call scheduled for 3:00 pm ET. Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.94 on revenue of $12.31B.

The consensus range is $1.82-$2.03 for EPS, and $11.99B-$12.55B for revenue, according to First Call. Lockheed beat both Q3 EPS and revenue estimates. On its Q3 earnings report, the company raised its FY11 EPS view to $7.40-$7.60 from $7.35-$7.55 vs. consensus $7.52. It also forecast FY12 sales to be “flattish” compared to FY11, citing looming defense budget cuts. Since Q3 results were released, the shares have advanced to fresh 52-week highs of $83.71.

Despite this, they currently sit at approximately the same level as they did in late July of last year. Potentially large defense cuts for FY12 and beyond will likely influence the near-term direction of the shares.

Competitors to Watch: Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ:ASTC), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD), Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN).

United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL) is expected to report Q4 earnings Thursday, January 26 before the market open, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET. Analysts are looking for EPS of 12c on revenue of $8.94B. The consensus range is wide at 0c-30c for EPS, and $8.86B-$9.11B for revenue, according to First Call.

The company posted mixed Q3 results, missing EPS and narrowly beating revenue estimates. On its conference call, management expected 2012 demand to “remain stable” and forecast flat consolidated capacity for the year. Quarterly traffic figures have been weak, with October, November, and December results down 5.0%, 3.6%, and 0.7%, respectively.

Sentiment on the Street has been mixed with several upgrades and downgrades during the quarter. The shares have traded sideways since late October, moving in a narrow range, while bouncing off a 52-week low of $15.51 made in late November. They are down approximately 15% on a year-over-year basis.

Competitors to Watch: Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW), Republic Airways Hldgs. Inc. (NASDAQ:RJET) and Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (NASDAQ:PNCL).

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