Raytheon Hit Hard by Pension Costs

January 30, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The world's largest maker of missiles, Raytheon, announced its profit during the fourth quarter cratered under the weight of rising pension costs.

TheWaltham, Massachusetts-based company said profit from continuing operations fell to $421 million, or $1.02 a share, from $634 million, or $1.45, a year earlier, Bloomberg reported.

One analyst who follows Raytheon predicted the firm isn’t through with negative pension cost impacts, according to Bloomberg “We believe there is additional material 2009 earnings per share risk from higher pension expense,” at defense companies including Raytheon, said Gary Liebowitz, a New York-based analyst with Wachovia Capital Markets. “Pension could remain a significant headwind in 2010.”

The company followed Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s biggest defense company, which previously announced pension costs would lower profit this year.

Sales gained 1.4% to $6.09 billion in the quarter as the company sold more air-and-missile-defense systems to U.S. allies in Asia and the Middle East, Bloomberg reported.