Business & Real Estate

Aerojet reports lower fourth-quarter profits

Aerojet Corp. fourth-quarter profits dipped to $7.7 million from $11.9 million. Per-share earnings fell to 12 cents from 20 cents a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $486.5 million from $443.6 million a year earlier.
Aerojet Corp. fourth-quarter profits dipped to $7.7 million from $11.9 million. Per-share earnings fell to 12 cents from 20 cents a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $486.5 million from $443.6 million a year earlier. Sacramento Bee file photo

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. reported a drop in fourth-quarter profits Tuesday despite higher revenue.

The Rancho Cordova rocket-engine maker said fourth-quarter profits dipped to $7.7 million from $11.9 million. Per-share earnings fell to 12 cents from 20 cents a year earlier.

Revenue jumped to $486.5 million from $443.6 million a year earlier.

A big factor in the decline in profits: Aerojet spent $21.6 million on research and development on the company’s newest large liquid-booster project, known as the AR1. Otherwise, the company said it was pleased with the results in the quarter, which included the announcement of a nine-year, $1.1 billion NASA contract to assist in the space agency’s Mars exploration effort.

“We are very pleased to report growth in net sales and backlog for the fourth quarter reflecting the underlying strength of our product portfolio and strong operational performance in our core business,” said President and Chief Executive Eileen Drake in a prepared statement.

Aerojet also restated earnings for several prior quarters, as the company announced earlier this month. Previously, Aerojet said it earned $10.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, not $11.9 million.

The restatement revolves around accounting for contracts held by Rocketdyne when it was acquired by Aerojet in 2013.

For all of fiscal 2015, Aerojet lost $16.2 million, or 27 cents a share. That compared with a loss of $50 million, or 86 cents a share, in fiscal 2014. Revenue for the year grew to $1.71 billion from $1.60 billion.

The loss for the full-year 2015 was due mainly to a $50 million settlement Aerojet paid to a customer, Orbital ATK Inc., over damages from the explosion of an unmanned Orbital rocket on a Virginia launchpad in October 2014. The rocket was powered by an old Soviet-made engine refurbished by Aerojet.

Aerojet shares closed at $15.73, up 42 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange before the earnings were released. The stock dropped 22 cents in after-hours trading following the announcement, according to Yahoo.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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