General Dynamics reported 2001 fourth quarter net earnings of $246 million, $1.21 per share on a fully diluted basis, on sales of $3.5 billion. This represents an 11 percent earnings per share increase over the fourth quarter of 2000, when net earnings were $219 million, $1.09 per share, on sales of $2.7 billion. The quarter ended on December 31, 2001.
Full year 2001 net earnings on a recurring basis were $915 million, $4.51 per fully diluted share, on sales of $12.2 billion. This is a 12 percent per share increase over 2000 earnings of $811 million on a recurring basis, $4.03 per fully diluted share, on sales of $10.4 billion. Including favorable, non-recurring tax adjustments in both years, net earnings were $943 million, $4.65 per share, in 2001 and $901 million, $4.48 per share, in 2000.
"This was another year of strong, steady performance," said Nicholas D. Chabraja
, General Dynamics chairman and CEO. "Cash flow from our business units totaled more than $300 million in the fourth quarter and reached a billion dollars for the full year. Backlog at the end of 2001 totaled almost $30 billion, an increase of nearly 50 percent from a year ago.
"Sales in the Combat Systems group increased by 93 percent in the fourth quarter and by 74 percent for the full year, the result of acquisitions as well as strong organic growth," Chabraja noted. "The acquisition of Primex early in 2001, now called Ordnance and Tactical Systems, and the acquisition of Spain's leading defense manufacturer, Santa Barbara Sistemas, made solid contributions to sales and earnings. Strong results also reflected new programs, such as the Interim Armored Vehicle for the Army, sales of the Abrams main battle tank to Egypt, and growth of the Marine Corps' Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle program. Looking forward, a team led by General Dynamics has submitted a proposal to be the lead systems integrator for the Army's multibillion dollar Future Combat Systems.
"Information Systems and Technology group revenues were up 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001 and 17 percent for the full year, reflecting the acquisition of Decision Systems in late September as well as several important new program wins," Chabraja said. "These include a $2.4 billion contract from the U.K for BOWMAN, a radio-based system that will allow British troops to talk and share data such as maps, video, and other information. A similar program for Taiwan was expanded in 2001. The company is also playing a major role in U.S. defense networking with a supporting role on Groundbreaker, a program to provide telephony and network services to the National Security Agency. In addition, General Dynamics won contracts to modernize telecommunications infrastructure at U.S. Navy bases in the U.S. and overseas.
"The Marine Systems group continues to have a strong and durable backlog. The FY 2002 DoD budget provided full funding for our major programs, including the Virginia-class submarine, DDG Arleigh Burke class destroyers, and T-AKE dry cargo ammunition ships. The DoD '02 budget also funded the conversion of four Trident nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSGN). Electric Boat is designing the work package for this conversion. In addition, General Dynamics is leading a team that will submit a proposal next month to design the DD(X) 'family of combatants,' a transformational Navy program. On the commercial side, NASSCO added a fourth double-hulled tanker to its backlog under an option exercised by BP (BP)
"In 2001, the Aerospace group established itself as a supplier of special mission aircraft for governments, with new orders from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Japanese Coast Guard, and Israel's Ministry of Defense," said Chabraja. "The acquisition of Galaxy Aerospace in 2001 broadened the Gulfstream product line with the super mid-sized G200 and mid-size G100 business jet aircraft - creating market-entry, add-on and move-up opportunities for a wider range of customers. During 2001, in addition to strong corporate and individual orders, Gulfstream also had more than $3.25 billion in new orders from fleet buyers.