Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 29, 2015 • 12:00 pm ET


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Northrop Grumman's Second Quarter 2015 Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded. My name is Kaitlin [ph] and I will be your operator today. At this time all participants are in listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Mr. Steve Movius, Treasurer and VP, IR. Mr. Movius, please proceed.

Stephen Movius

Thanks, Kaitlin, and welcome to Northrop Grumman's second quarter 2015 conference call. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements).

Matters discussed on today's call might also include non-GAAP financial measures that are reconciled in today's earnings release, which is posted on our website. On the call today are Wes Bush, our Chairman, CEO and President; and Ken Bedingfield, our CFO. At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to Wes.

Wesley Bush

Thanks, Steve. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us. Our first half results reflect a continued focus on performance by the great team we have in our company, and I'd like to thank our folks for all that they're doing. That focus on executing well, in combination with effective cash deployment continues to create value for our shareholders, our customers and employees. Looking at the quarter, earnings per share increased 16%. Cash from operations, and free cash flow were also higher this quarter. Through June 30, adjusting for the first quarter pension-free funding, operations generated about 300 million in cash versus 170 million last year.

Strong performance from all four of our sectors combined to generate strong segment operating margin. We also continued to execute our cash deployment strategy. During the quarter, we repurchased 6.8 million shares for 1.1 billion. Year-to-date, share repurchases totaled 12.1 million and we are now approximately 90% complete toward our goal of repurchasing 60 million shares by the end of 2015. In total, under the program we announced in May of 2013, we've repurchased more than 54 million shares at an average price per share of just under $121.

We're on track to complete the 60 million share repurchase by the end of the year, market conditions permitting. In addition to deploying cash to significantly reduce our share count, in May, we raised our quarterly dividend 14% to $0.80 per share. Year-to-date, we've returned $2.2 billion to our shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, while continuing robust IRAD, and capital investments.

Our capital deployment priorities continue to be investing in our business, managing the balance sheet, maintaining a competitive dividend, and returning excess cash to our shareholders through share repurchases. We believe these priorities are serving our shareholders and the company well. We ended the quarter with total backlog of 37 billion, slightly lower than last quarter, but 4% higher than we were at this time last year.Through June 30, bookings totaled approximately 10.7 billion, giving us a book-to-bill of 90% at the mid-point of the year.

International customers continue to express strong interest in our products and services, and we see opportunity for long-term profitable growth through both our existing