News Column

Harris Corp. profit meets Wall Street forecast

July 29, 2014

By Richard Burnett, Orlando Sentinel



July 29--Lifted by a series of high-tech deals -- from satellite technology to classified military systems -- Harris Corp. posted a higher quarterly profit and level revenues on Tuesday, meeting the consensus Wall Street forecast for its fourth quarter.

The Melbourne-based electronics and communications company earned more than $131 million, or $1.28 per share, from continuing operations, more than doubling its profit from the 2013 quarter. Its latest revenues totaled $1.33 billion, essentially flat from $1.36 billion in last year's quarter.

Harris met the Wall Street consensus earnings forecast of $1.28 per share and topped the average revenue projection of $1.3 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

For its full fiscal year that ended June 28, Harris earned $535 million, or $5 per share, on revenue of $5 billion, compared with a profit of $113 million, or $4.16 a share, on revenue of $5.1 billion in 2013.

Harris employs about 6,500 in Melbourne and Palm Bay. It is the largest high-tech company headquartered in Central Florida.

Harris said its Government Communications division, based in Palm Bay, led the way in the fourth quarter. It posted a profit of $69 million, up 28 percent over the year, on sales of $471 million, up 2 percent from fourth quarter 2013.

Government Communications received a stream of cash in the quarter from ongoing work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter avionics, the Federal Aviation Administration'sNextGen data communications system and the Navy's Commercial Broadband Satellite program.

The company also won several new contracts, including a potential $773 million deal to produce advanced imagery systems for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and nearly $100 million for classified military electronics or communications technology work.

Harris CEO William M. Brown cited Government Communications' strong performance and the company's overall operational efficiencies "in a tough U.S. government spending environment."

"Fourth quarter revenue and earnings were solid," he said. "The company continues to generate substantial free cash flow while still investing for the future."

In its initial projection for its 2014-2015 year, Harris forecast a profit of $4.75 to $5 a share and a revenue decrease of 1 percent to 3 percent.

"Harris continues to manage for a no-growth environment with previous restructuring actions together with focusing on lean operating initiatives," analyst Josh Sullivan of the Sterne Agee brokerage said in a research note.

rburnett@tribune.com or 407-420-5256

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(c)2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)


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