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Earnings roundup: Lockheed, Bristol-Myers, 3M, Estee Lauder and more

January 28, 2010 | 11:38 am


Several major companies reported mixed but generally strong quarterly earnings this morning.

Some, like Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., reported soaring profits, and others posted losses that were smaller than expected.

Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense company, exceeded analysts’ estimates with its fourth-quarter profit, which was powered by higher sales of aircraft.

The Bethesda, Md., company said it earned $827 million, or $2.17 a share. This was up from a year earlier, when it pocketed $823 million, or $2.05 a share. Analysts had estimated $1.99 a share.

The maker of warplanes, missile defense systems and technology systems said net sales rose to $12.52 billion, compared with $11.13 billion a year earlier. Sales in the aeronautics unit increased 13%.

Lockheed raised its earnings outlook for 2010 to a range of $7.15 to $7.35 a share. The company’s previous estimate was $7.05 to $7.25 a share.

Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M Co., which makes products as diverse as Post-its and TV displays, saw a 74% jump in earnings in the fourth quarter. Profit surged to $935 million from $536 million a year earlier. Revenue jumped 11% to $6.1 billion.

For the year, profit fell to $3.19 billion from $3.46 billion in 2008, and sales tumbled 8.5% to $23.1 billion. The company’s industrial and transportation sector grew 10.2% over the year, while the electro and communications segment rose 18%.

In 2010, 3M expects to pull in per-share earnings of $4.90 to $5.10, up from its previous estimate of $4.85 to $5. It expects sales to jump 5% to 7%.

New York-based drug maker Bristol-Myers posted an $8-billion profit in the fourth quarter, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier. Revenue hit $5.03 billion, up 11% from $4.5 billion.

The gain was largely attributed to its $7.2-billion spinoff of infant formula maker Mead Johnson in December. But its medicines for serious conditions, crucial even in a recession, also performed well. Blood thinner pill Plavix posted at 10% sales leap to $1.62 billion, and bipolar disorder and schizophrenia treatment Abilify and HIV medication Reyataz also saw massive gains.

Bristol-Myers said it expects earnings per share to range from $1.94 to $2.04 in 2010.

Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder Cos. watched its fiscal second-quarter profit soar 62% to $256.2 million from $158 million a year earlier. The company, home of Clinique and Aveda products, also saw revenue jump 11% to $2.3 billion from $2 billion. Though sales of fragrance products fell, the skin and hair care sectors performed well, as did products in airport stores and in Asia.

Fourth-quarter earnings at McCormick & Co. rose 41% to $116.4 million from $82.5 million a year earlier. Sales at the Sparks, Md.-based spices and seasonings company increased 2% to $924.5 million from $906.9 million. Sales in 2010 are expected to grow 4 to 6%, with adjusted profit of $2.49 to $2.54 per share.

Photography company Eastman Kodak Co. pulled in $443 million in profit in its fourth quarter, a massive improvement from the $918 million it lost in the same period in 2008. The $2.6 billion the Rochester, N.Y.-based company attracted in sales was better than the $2.4 billion from last year. Digital sales jumped 12%, and traditional film brought in 10% less in revenue.

Procter & Gamble Co., the world’s largest maker of household products, saw a 7% slide in profit to $3.7 billion in its fiscal second quarter from $5 billion a year earlier. But sales inched up 6.4% to $21 billion, as the sales volume of goods such as Pampers diapers, Gillette shavers and Tide detergent rose. The Cincinnati company said it anticipates sales to improve 3 to 5% this year. 

Air carriers US Airways Group Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. as well as telecommunications firms Motorola Inc. and AT&T Inc. also posted quarterly results today.

-- Tiffany Hsu and W.J. Hennigan

Photo: F-22 Raptors, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., fly above Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in 2008. Credit: U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Courtney Witt