By Shreyasee Raj and Mike Stone
(Reuters) -U.S. aerospace manufacturer Raytheon Technologies Corp on Tuesday lifted the lower end of its full-year sales forecast on strong performance of its defense unit and a recovery in commercial air travel.
Neil Mitchill, Raytheon’s newly appointed chief financial officer, said in an interview that “increasing confidence and a commercial aero recovery that we began to see take hold at the end of the first quarter” led to the company’s view for 2021.
While demand for Raytheon’s aviation technologies and service for aircraft manufacturers slumped during the global health crisis, its robust defense unit that contributes more than half of overall sales continued to lift its bottomline.
During the quarter, the company had a notable $1.4 billion in classified bookings for work at Raytheon’s Intelligence and Space unit, which Mitchill said was “clearly an indication that the operations tempo is increasing from where we saw it exiting 2020.”
The company now expects between $63.9 billion and $65.4 billion in full-year sales, compared with its previous forecast of $63.4 billion to $65.4 billion.
For the quarter, Raytheon had earnings per share of $0.90 versus Wall Street analyst’s consensus estimate of $0.88. Revenue rose to $15.25 billion from $11.36 billion but missed Wall Street’s estimate of $15.36 billion.
Net income attributable to common shareowners was $753 million, or 50 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from a loss of $83 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.
Raytheon increased its 2021 share repurchase authorization from $1.5 billion to at least $2 billion.
The company, which had about 195,000 employees when it merged with United Technologies last April, has laid off nearly 20,000 full-time and contract employees in its commercial aerospace business, which makes aircraft engines and spare parts. Raytheon said savings from the merger increased by $300 million to $1.3 billion.
On a call with Wall Street analysts, management said Raytheon was cooperating with Department of Justice investigations into contract pricing in the 2011-2013 timeframe. Management said the investigations were not expected to have a material impact.
Raytheon ended the first quarter with a backlog of $147.4 billion.
(Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)