Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 29, 2018 • 10:00 am ET
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Lockheed Martin Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Earnings Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]
I'll turn the conference now to Mr. Greg Gardner, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.
Thank you, John, and good morning. I'd like to welcome everyone to our Fourth Quarter 2017 earnings conference call. Joining me today on the call are Marillyn Hewson, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Bruce Tanner, our Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer.
Statements made in today's call that are not historical fact are considered forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of federal securities law. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Please see today's press release and our SEC filings for a description of some of the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
We have posted charts on our website today that we plan to address during the call to supplement our comments. Please access our website at www.lockheedmartin.com and click on the Investor Relations link to view and follow the charts.
With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Marillyn.
Marillyn A. Hewson
Thanks, Greg. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us on the call today, and I hope you've all had a good start to the new year. Let me begin expressing my sincere gratitude to the entire Lockheed Martin team for their contributions and commitment through 2017. It was through their dedication and efforts that we were able to deliver strong financial results for our stockholders and outstanding operational performance for our customers. Thanks to their focus on mission success, we are well-positioned for long-term growth, and I am excited by the prospects the future holds.
2017 was an exceptional year of achievement with strong operational results and new, historical, high watermarks for sales, orders, and cash from operations. We were pleased to see our 2017 sales eclipse $51 billion, representing growth of 8% over our 2016 results. Our 2017 growth was broad-based with each of our four business areas exceeding last years results. Leading this increase was our aeronautics business area fueled by 18% growth in the F-35 program followed by our missiles and fire control business area exceeding 2016 sales by 9% driven by both tactical missiles and air and missile defense products.
We entered 2017 with approximately $100 billion in backlog, the result of our record orders and strong yearly book to bill ratio, which had the corporation well positioned for continued growth. I'd also like to highlight our performance in driving cash from operations as we generated $1.5 in cash during the fourth quarter and $6.5 billion for the year.
These results allow us to continue our balanced cash deployment strategy as we returned over $4 billion to stockholders through a combination of our commitment to dividends and our share repurchase program. The corporation also funded a