Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Raytheon Co., the world’s largest missile maker, forecast 2013 profit will fall short of analysts’ estimates after fourth-quarter earnings declined from a year earlier.
Profit from continuing operations for 2013 will be $5.16 to $5.31 a share, the company said today in a statement. The average of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of $5.46 a share on sales of $24.1 billion.
Raytheon followed General Dynamics Corp. by a day in offering a 2013 forecast that was worse than analysts had predicted. U.S. defense contractors face an uncertain future, with Pentagon spending under pressure because of efforts to reduce the federal deficit.
For the fourth quarter, Raytheon’s profit from continuing operations was $466 million or $1.41 a share, compared with $539 million or $1.56 a share a year earlier, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company said in the statement. The average of 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a profit of $1.31 a share. Sales increased less than 1 percent to $6.44 billion.
Raytheon’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Swanson said in the statement that the company’s diversity of programs and international sales “should help to mitigate some of the potential overall impact” of defense cuts.
Raytheon fell 2 percent to $57.06 at 10:06 a.m. in New York trading after gaining 17 percent in the past 12 months.
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