General Dynamics Says Q4 Earnings Grew but Were Hurt by Gulfstream G700 Delays

Anticipated FAA certification of the new business jet failed to occur during the quarter.

The G700 did not receive certification during the fourth quarter as expected. [Courtesy: Gulfstream]

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) reported increased earnings for the fourth quarter, with growth in all of its main businesses. The company also said its backlog of orders grew to record levels. Still, it noted the delay in achieving FAA certification for the G700 business jet hurt results. 

Net income for the recent quarter rose 1.3 percent to $1 billion, or $3.64 diluted earnings per share, compared with $992 million, or $3.58 per diluted share. Revenue increased 7.5 percent to $11.7 billion.

For the full year, net income totaled $3.3 billion, or $12.02 per diluted share, compared with 3.4 billion or $12.19 per diluted share. Revenue increased 7.3 percent to $42.3 billion from $39.4 billion in 2022.

“We had a solid fourth quarter, capping off a year that saw growth in all four segments and continued strong cash flow,” said Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics.

During a call with analysts, however, Novakovic noted that results for the quarter and year are “4 and 9 cents below consensus. This miss was exclusively because G700 did not certify before year-end,” she said, adding that the delay “deprived us of slightly over $1 billion of revenue and $250 million in earnings.”

In the company’s aerospace business, which includes Gulfstream, orders totaled $3.2 billion, resulting in a 4.8 percent increase in backlog to $20.5 billion. Across all of its operations, which include marine systems, combat systems, and technologies, year-end backlog grew to $93.6 billion, which is the highest in the company’s history.

Novakovic said customers whose G700s have been completed should anticipate delivery soon. “We have 15 airplanes ready to go, and the hope is that we deliver them this quarter,” she said.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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