General Dynamics Misses Analyst Estimates in 2011 Financial Results

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) shares were down as low as $69.47 or over 2 percent in morning trading as the company reported fourth quarter and full-year 2011 financial results with lower earnings and that missed average analyst estimates.

The Falls Church-based company announced fourth quarter net income of $603 million or $1.68 per diluted share. That amount was lower than the $729 million ($1.91 per diluted share) profit made in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The defense contractor blamed the fall on its Switzerland-based aircraft-completions business where it a charge totaling $189 million.

“Jet Aviation’s aircraft-completions business continued to face lower OEM business-jet volume and delays in several narrow-body and wide-body aircraft which are nearing delivery,” stated Jay L. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer. “We have taken appropriate steps to address these issues.

The average analyst estimate for the fourth quarter 2011 was $1.99 per share with a low of $1.88 per share, both missed by actual results. Revenue estimates averaged $9.29 billion but General Dynamics reported $9.1 billion for the last quarter of 2011.

Although fourth quarter results were lower than expected, full-year earnings exceeded those in 2010. Net income totaled $2.55 billion or $6.94 per diluted share for 2011, versus $2.63 billion or $6.82 per diluted share in 2010.

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