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Why Is General Dynamics (GD) Up 4.7% Since Last Earnings Report?

Zacks Equity Research

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for General Dynamics (GD). Shares have added about 4.7% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is General Dynamics due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

General Dynamics' Q3 Earnings Beat, Revenues Up Y/Y

General Dynamics Corporation reported third-quarter 2019 earnings from continuing operations of $3.14 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.06 by 2.6%. The bottom line also improved 10.2% from the prior-year quarter’s $2.85 per share.

Total Revenues

General Dynamics’ third-quarter revenues of $9,761 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9,682 million by 0.82%. Further, revenues increased 7.3% from $9,094 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year increase can be attributed to sales growth in the company’s Aerospace, Combat and Marine Systems segments.


General Dynamics’ total backlog at the end of third-quarter 2019 was $67.4 billion. Estimated potential contract value, representing management’s estimate of value in unfunded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts and unexercised options, was $35.6 billion. Total estimated contract value, the sum of all backlog components, was $103 billion.

Segmental Performance

Aerospace: The segment reported revenues of $2,495 million, up 22.8% year over year. However, operating earnings of $393 million increased 4.5% from the prior-year quarter’s $376 million.

Combat Systems: Segment revenues rose 14.2% from the prior-year quarter to $1,740 million. Moreover, operating earnings were up 9.5% from the year-ago quarter to $264 million.

Information Systems and Technology: The segment reported revenues of $2,071 million, which declined 10.2% year over year. Operating earnings also dropped 7% from the prior-year period to $146 million.

Marine Systems: The segment’s revenues of $2,235 million were up 11.6% from the year-ago quarter’s $2,003 million. Operating earnings also improved 23.7% from the year-ago level to $209 million.

Mission Systems: The segment’s revenues of $1,220 million declined 0.8% from the year-ago quarter’s $1,230 million. Operating earnings of $185 million also increased 3.4% from the year-ago quarter’s $179 million.

Operational Highlights

Company-wide operating margin remained in line with the year ago quarter’s operating margin of 12.5%.

In the quarter under review, General Dynamics’ operating costs and expenses rose 7.4% from the year-ago period to $8,545 million.

Interest expenses in the reported quarter amounted to $114 million, in line with the year ago quarter’s number.

Financial Condition

As of Sep 29, 2019, General Dynamics’ cash and cash equivalents were $974 million compared with $963 million on Dec 31, 2018.

Long-term debt as of Sep 29, 2019 was $8,989 million, which massively declined from the 2018-end level of $11,444 million.

In the first nine months of 2019, the company’s cash provided by operating activities was $587 million compared with $1,081 million cash provided by operating activities in the comparable year-ago period.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended downward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, General Dynamics has an average Growth Score of C, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a B. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, General Dynamics has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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