Linthicum unit's sales bolster Northrop earnings 23 percent rise in net income


Strong sales of radar and marine systems at the Linthicum electronics unit helped Northrop Grumman Corp. post 23-percent increases in both net income and overall sales for the first quarter of this year, the company said yesterday.

Northrop Grumman reported net income of $75 million on sales of $1.96 billion, up from net income of $61 million on sales of $1.6 billion for the corresponding period in 1996.

Last year, the first quarter included just a month of results from the newly acquired former Westinghouse plant in Linthicum.

Earnings of $1.30 per share were up from the $1.23 a share recorded for the same period last year, even though the amount of outstanding stock jumped 17 percent after the sale of 8 million shares in July.

"It was a very good quarter," said analyst Peter Aseritis of CS First Boston. "It's a solid company, well-managed, and they're doing a great job."

Northrop Grumman shares rose $2.75 to $78 yesterday.

The Electronic Sensors and Systems Division in Linthicum has become a centerpiece of the California defense contractor's push into electronics. During the first quarter, electronics net sales increased 48 percent to $1.023 billion from $692 million during that period in 1996.

Electronics operating profit was up nearly 22 percent, to $90 million, from $74 million in the first quarter of 1996. That margin would have been even higher but for a $13 million charge from increased costs on the Directed Infrared Countermeasures program, the company said.

The absorption of the Linthicum division is "going real well," Aseritis said. "It's integrated quickly; it's an active part of the total company and more than contributing to the success of the business."

Northrop Grumman's other major field of business, aircraft, benefited during the quarter from a boost in contract work on Boeing jetliners and Gulfstream business jets. Aircraft sales rose 3.8 percent to $1.026 billion from $988 million during the first quarter of last year. Operating profit on the aircraft side rose 33.6 percent, to $135 million from $101 million in the 1996 period.

Pub Date: 4/17/97

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