Lockheed Has Best Year Ever, And Expects a Better 2020 

By Marcus Weisgerber

January 28, 2020

Lockheed Martin booked nearly $60 billion in 2019 sales, the best year on record for the world’s largest defense contractor. And its executives are predicting even higher sales this year.

[W]e really are happy with our current portfolio,” Marillyn Hewson, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said Tuesday during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call with investment analysts. “We don't see any gaps right now.”

Lockheed predicts that demand from the Pentagon and U.S. allies will generate between $62.75 billion and $64.25 billion in 2020 sales.

The company grew 11 percent from 2018 to 2019. All four of its divisions increased their sales, earnings, and backlog.

The largest growth came in Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control business, which grew 20 percent on tactical weapons, Patriot interceptors, and work on new hypersonic missiles.

Executives said Congress added nearly $3.5 billion for Lockheed-made weapons to the Trump administration’s 2020 spending request. Lawmakers appropriated an extra $2 billion to add 20 F-35 fighter jets to the requested 78 and more than $800 million to add nine C-130J transports to the requested 11. They also increased funding for the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, Orion space capsule, new missile-warning satellites, and helicopter programs.

We believe our portfolio is well positioned to address important security needs for our nation with the increasing defense budgets and these additional appropriations actions supporting continued growth opportunities into the future,” Hewson said. 

In addition to the record number of 2019 sales, Lockheed has $144 billion in its backlog.

As you can see, with our very robust backlog, about $144 billion, it gives us an opportunity to not only perform on that work that we have, but to continue to invest in new technologies and new capabilities,” Hewson said. “And that's what we've been doing for a number of years. We have highlighted areas in the radar arena and hypersonics and directed energy.”

By Marcus Weisgerber // Marcus Weisgerber is the global business editor for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of Inside the Air Force. He has reported from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, and often travels with the defense secretary and other senior military officials.

January 28, 2020