Raytheon posts flat 3Q net income on lower revenue

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Raytheon Co. said Thursday that third-quarter income was flat, hurt by a slight drop in revenue and tough comparisons to a prior-year quarter boosted by a hefty tax-related gain.

But the profit beat Wall Street predictions and the defense contractor boosted its profit prediction for the full year.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company earned $500 million, or $1.50 per share, compared with $501 million, or $1.43 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The year-ago period included a gain related to a tax settlement totaling about 17 cents per share.

Adjusted earnings per share in the latest quarter amounted to $1.60 per share.

The profit beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.28 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue fell about 1 percent to $6.05 billion from $6.12 billion, falling short of average analysts' predictions of $6.16 billion.

Sales at the company's integrated defense systems business rose 8 percent to $1.28 billion on higher sales of the Patriot defense program. Sales at the company's missile systems business rose 2 percent to $1.44 billion, while space and airborne sales edged up 1 percent to $1.32 billion.

But sales of network centric systems tumbled 13 percent to $963 million, mainly as a result of lower U.S. Army demand. Intelligence and information system sales fell 2 percent to $742 million, while technical services sales dropped 4 percent to $785 million, mainly as a result of the conclusion of a key contract.

For the full-year 2012, Raytheon said it now expects to post a profit from continuing operations of $5.36 to $5.46 per share, up from its previous prediction of $5.15 to $5.30 per share. Analysts expect a profit of $5.33 per share.

But the company cut its 2012 net sales prediction to a range of $24.3 billion to $24.7 billion. It previously predicted $24.5 billion to $25 billion. Analysts expect $24.55 billion.

In morning trading, shares of the company added 84 cents to $55.99.