Shares of Alliant Techsystems Inc. rose modestly Thursday, a day after it said its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed 18 percent, helped by stronger sales of ammunition for security forces in Afghanistan.
The maker of ammunition, propulsion systems and aerospace supplies also boosted its full-year profit and revenue forecasts late Wednesday, and said its CEO Daniel J. Murphy will retire in March. Chief Financial Officer John Shroyer was named interim CEO effective immediately.
The company said net income for the three months ended Oct. 4 rose to $72.5 million, or $2.19 per share, from $61.5 million, or $1.77 per share, in the year-earlier period.
Sales climbed 10 percent to $1.21 billion from $1.1 billion, driven by continued strength in the company's armament systems and mission systems divisions.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected earnings of $2.06 per share on revenue of $1.18 billion.
Sales growth, improved operating margins and reduced interest expense more than offset increased pension expense in the latest quarter, Alliant said.
Alliant now expects earnings of $8.60 to $8.75 per share for fiscal 2010, up from previous guidance of $8.45 to $8.60 per share. It boosted its annual sales forecast to a range of $4.83 billion to $4.88 billion from an earlier estimate of $4.80 billion to $4.85 billion.
Alliant also said its board of directors appointed Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, who has been a board member for more than five years, to serve as its chairman.
Shares of Alliant rose $3.21, or 3.9 percent, to $86.44 in afternoon trading.