Three of the top five defense contractors each reported higher revenues in the first quarter of 2018, and were bullish over their prospects for the rest of the year.
Boeing reported first-quarter revenue of $23.4 billion "reflecting higher commercial deliveries and mix, defense contract volume and services growth," the company said in an earnings statement.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in the statement: "Our team's strong first-quarter performance, combined with the positive market outlook across our businesses and our confidence in executing on our production and development programs, gives us a solid foundation to raise our guidance for the year. Going forward, we remain focused on our disciplined growth strategy, improved profitability and cash flow to ensure we meet our commitments to our customers and our shareholders."
Northrop Grumman reported first-quarter 2018 sales had increased by 5 percent to $6.7 billion from $6.4 billion in the first quarter of the previous year.
"Based on our first-quarter results, we are raising our guidance for earnings per share," Northrop CEO Wes Bush told Wall Street analysts in a conference call.
General Dynamics reported first-quarter 2018 net earnings of $799 million, a 4.7 percent increase over the first quarter of 2017, on revenue of $7.5 billion.
"General Dynamics delivered solid first-quarter results, with growth in revenue, net earnings and [earnings per share]," General Dynamics chief executive Phebe Novakovic told Wall Street analysts. "This is a strong start to 2018 and we remain confident in our outlook."