Harris Revenue Surges on Exelis Deal
Technology and information systems provider Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS – $81.91) reported a 57% jump in revenue in the first full quarter that included the acquisition of defense-industry rival Exelis, Inc. For its fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 2, Harris reported adjusted earnings of $1.31 per share on revenue of $1.81 billion from $1.16 billion a year earlier. Profits were in line with Street estimates, but analysts were anticipating revenue closer to $1.85 billion. Harris, which in late May closed on the Exelis deal, has secured some big Pentagon radio contracts this year, notably the $3.9 billion Rifleman deal announced in late April. Meanwhile, the company’s commercial business has been hit by the slowdown in energy markets that has reduced demand from oil and gas companies. Melbourne, Florida-based Harris has been transferring some available spectrum to alternative markets such as cruise-line operators, where demand for Internet services is soaring. For the full fiscal year ending in June, Harris backed it’s guidance and earnings should be in the $5.60 – $5.80 range, up from last year’s $5.02. The longer-term growth picture is also encouraging. In order to offset waning contributions from the military, Harris has done a commendable job of diversifying the revenue stream and should further broaden its reach in the communications space to the consumer market over the 3- to 5-year period. The company will use its generous cash flow to bring down some of the debt issued to acquire Exelis and increase its dividend payout. The shares popped on the news nearing its all-time high set back in August and are currently yielding 2.5%.