Earnings Analysis: General Dynamics

| About: General Dynamics (GD)

General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD) reports preliminary financial results for the quarter ended 2012-09-30.

General Dynamics Corp. recently reported its preliminary financial results based on which CapitalCube provides a unique peer-based analysis of the company. Our analysis is based on the company's performance over the last twelve months (unless stated otherwise).

General Dynamics Corp.'s analysis versus peers uses the following peer-set: Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA), Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT), European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. EADS N.V. (NYSEMKT:EAD), Raytheon Co. (NYSE:RTN), BAE Systems PLC (OTCPK:BAESF), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC), Dassault Aviation S.A. (NYSE:AM) and Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE:COL). The table below shows the preliminary results along with the recent trend for revenues, net income and returns. Earlier today we published our Earnings Analysis for Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) based on the latest data,



Quarterly (USD million) 2012-09-30 2012-06-30 2012-03-31 2011-12-31 2011-09-30
Revenues 7,934.0 7,922.0 7,579.0 9,147.0 7,853.0
Revenue Growth % 0.2 4.5 (17.1) 16.5 (0.3)
Net Income 600.0 634.0 564.0 603.0 665.0
Net Income Growth % (5.4) 12.4 (6.5) (9.3) (0.2)
Net Margin % 7.6 8.0 7.4 6.6 8.5
ROE % (Annualized) 17.2 18.4 16.7 18.0 19.3
ROA % (Annualized) 6.8 7.2 6.4 7.1 8.0


Valuation Drivers

General Dynamics Corp. trades at a lower Price/Book multiple (1.6) than its peer median (4.4). The market expects General Dynamics Corp. to grow at about the same rate as its chosen peers (PE of 9.7 compared to peer median of 10.5) and to maintain the peer median return (ROE of 17.2%) it currently generates.

The company's asset efficiency (asset turns of 0.9x) and net profit margins of 7.4% are both median for its peer group. General Dynamics Corp.'s net margin is its lowest relative to the last five years and compares to a high of 8.5% in 2008.

Economic Moat

General Dynamics Corp.'s revenues have changed in-line with its peers (year-on-year change in revenues is 0.6%) but its earnings have lagged (annual reported earnings have changed by -2.9% compared to the peer median of 9.6%), implying that the company has less control over its costs relative to its peers. General Dynamics Corp. is currently converting every 1% of change in revenue into -4.4% change in annual reported earnings.

General Dynamics Corp.'s current return on assets is around peer median (7.0% vs. peer median 7.0%). This contrasts with its higher than peer median return on assets over the past five years (8.3% vs. peer median 5.0%), suggesting that the company's relative operating performance has declined.

The company's comparatively low gross margins of 17.6% versus peer median of 23.7% suggests that it has a non-differentiated strategy or is in a pricing constrained position. However, General Dynamics Corp.'s pre-tax margin of 10.8% is around the peer median which, when combined with the gross margin, suggests lower operating costs relative to peers.

Growth & Investment Strategy

While General Dynamics Corp.'s revenues have grown faster than the peer median (3.7% vs. 2.4% respectively for the past three years), the market gives the stock an about peer median PE ratio of 9.7. This suggests that the market has some questions about the company's long-term strategy.

General Dynamics Corp.'s annualized rate of change in capital of 6.8% over the past three years is greater than the peer median of 3.8%. However, this investment level has only generated a peer median return on capital of 15.7% averaged over the same three years. This median return on an above median capital investment suggests the company is overinvesting.

Earnings Quality

General Dynamics Corp.'s net income margin for the last twelve months is around the peer median (7.4% vs. peer median of 7.4%). This average margin and relatively conservative accrual policy (4.6% vs. peer median of 2.5%) suggests possible understatement of its reported net income.

General Dynamics Corp.'s accruals over the last twelve months are positive suggesting a buildup of reserves. In addition, the level of accrual is greater than the peer median -- which suggests a relatively strong buildup in reserves compared to its peers.

Trend Charts


Company Profile

General Dynamics Corp. is an aerospace and defense company. It provides products and services in business aviation, combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions, military and commercial shipbuilding and communications and information technology. The company operates through four business groups: Aerospace, Combat Systems, Marine Systems and Information Systems and Technology. The Aerospace group designs, manufactures and outfits a comprehensive family of gulfstream business. The Combat Systems group designs, develops and produces tracked and wheeled military vehicles, weapons systems and munitions. The Marine Systems group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. The Information Systems and Technology group provides critical technologies, products and services. The company was founded on February 21, 1952 and is headquartered in Falls Church, VA.



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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Tagged: , Aerospace/Defense Products & Services, Earnings
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