BAE Systems rises after saying strong order trend continued in Q3
By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- Shares in BAE Systems (LON: BAES ), the U.K.'s largest defense contractor, rose 2.5% at the open on Tuesday in London as the company reported another strong quarter of orders and raised its full-year profit guidance due to sterling's weakness.
"We are tracking towards a very strong year of order intake," the company said in a statement. New orders hit £10 billion in the three months through September, adding to £18B in the first half of the year. The trend has continued since the end of the reporting period, with the U.K. government signing off on Monday for a £4.2B order for up to eight more Type 26 frigates, while the U.S. military has added another $900M in orders.
The company had previously forecast an increase of 2-4% in sales and 4-6% in underlying earnings per share, assuming an average exchange rate of $1.38 this year. However, the pound has weakened sharply in the course of the year, inflating the value of BAE's dollar -based contracts. At an average exchange rate of $1.23 for the year, it says sales would rise by 7-9% and underlying EPS would rise 11-13%.
While it acknowledged ongoing issues with the supply of microelectronics components, BAE said both sales and margins continued to improve.
"We do not see a material impact from higher energy prices," it added, noting that it is "well hedged in the UK and our other major markets are relatively energy independent."
The company also said it had emerged unscathed from the recent debacle in U.K. debt markets due to the radical tax cut plans of Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was effectively forced out of office by the sharp rise in yields that her plans caused.
BAE said its pension fund surplus "remains intact" and that it has "appropriate liquidity across our funds."
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