General Dynamics chief predicts continued Army demand, whether from new efforts or upgrades

By Marjorie Censer / April 28, 2021 at 10:23 AM

The chief executive of General Dynamics said today the company is participating in the Army's new combat vehicle programs -- but sees its upgrade efforts as more near-term.

Asked whether the company is anticipating cuts to new programs, Phebe Novakovic acknowledged "new programs are always the most vulnerable."

But she told analysts today that General Dynamics is still optimistic about Mobile Protected Firepower and the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.

Of OMFV, Novakovic noted the "program got stretched considerably."

"We are taking it seriously and participating, but there's a long way to go before that comes to fruition," she said.

In the meantime, Novakovic said the company is focused on modernization of its existing platforms.

"For us, that means Stryker and Abrams and both are undergoing major upgrade programs," she said.

Novakovic said the company sees execution as a way to stave off potential cuts.

"There's nothing like performing on schedule and on budget to amplify and provide a bit of an antidote to any potential cuts that come in the future," she said.

Meanwhile, General Dynamics today said sales in its most recent quarter totaled $9.4 billion, up 7% from the same three-month period the prior year. The company recorded sales gains in all four of its business units.

General Dynamics said quarterly profit hit $708 million, essentially flat from the prior year. All of its business units, except its aerospace unit, reported profit growth.