ATK Earnings Impress

ATK Earnings Impress

Arlington, Va.-based ATK dodged the downturn on stock markets Thursday, its shares bolstered by strong earnings reported early in the day.

Revenues at the defense contractor-cum-hunting sports supplier grew 7%, to $1.1 billion in the fiscal second quarter 2014, matching consensus expectations. Profits came in at $2.86 per share, diluted, and were significantly ahead of the anticipated $2.39-per-share profit.

Best of all, ATK sees things only improving as the year progresses. ATK increased guidance for full-year revenue to a new range of from $4.68 billion to $4.73 billion. Earnings are, likewise, expected to rise more strongly than previously believed, and could reach $9.10 to $9.40 by year end. Free cash flow for the year should range from $210 million to $230 million -- despite the fact that, at this point in the year, ATK remains free cash flow negative.

Bolstering confidence that ATK's new estimates are on target, the company confirmed that, in Q2, it took in $1.5 billion in new orders -- up 17% year over year, sufficient to more than replace all revenues already booked in the quarter, and resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 1.3. Accordingly, it seems more likely than not that revenues at ATK will indeed continue to grow as the company works through its book of orders to be fulfilled.

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