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Earnings up 21 per cent at defence contractor General Dynamics

Defence conglomerate General Dynamics Corp. reported a 21 per cent increase in fourth-quarter earnings.


September 19, 2007
By Carey Fredericks

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) _ Defence conglomerate General Dynamics Corp. reported a 21 per cent increase in fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, thanks to revenue growth in all segments of its business.

The Falls Church-based contractor reported earnings of $406 million US, or $2 per share, in the final three months of 2005, compared with $336 million, or $1.66 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The earnings beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call, who predicted earnings of $1.97 a share.

Quarterly sales increased 13 per cent, from $5.17 billion a year ago to $5.83 billion.

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"General Dynamics generated solid returns in the fourth quarter of 2005, capping another very strong year,'' chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja said in a statement.

The company increased sales and earnings in all four of its major business units _ combat systems, marine systems, information systems and aerospace, which includes its Gulfstream business jets.

For the year, company earnings increased 19 per cent, from $1.23 billion, or $6.09 per share, in 2004 to $1.46 billion, or $7.22 per share, in 2005.

Annual sales increased 11 per cent, from $19.1 billion to $21.2 billion.

Chabraja said he expects per-share earnings growth to slow in 2006, predicting earnings of $7.80 to $7.85 a share. Analysts had been estimating 2006 earnings at $8.02 per share.

General Dynamics employs more than 72,000 people worldwide.