Lockheed Martin Corporation has recorded net sales of $17.7bn in Q4 2021, an increase of nearly 4.1%, compared to $17bn in Q4 2020.

In the three-month period that ended on 31 December 2021, the firm’s net earnings from continuing operations were $2bn. The figure was $1.8bn in the same quarter a year ago.

Cash from operations stood at $4.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Lockheed Martin chairman, president, and CEO James Taiclet said: “We delivered significant value back to shareholders in 2021, including $7bn in dividends and share repurchases, and our team continued to provide world-class support to our customers, despite the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic.

“Through our strong balance sheet, we continue to invest in the many emerging growth opportunities ahead, from new aircraft competitions around the world, to our classified portfolio, to solid demand for our signature programmes, to emerging technologies like hypersonics.

“Looking ahead to 2022, we will remain fully dedicated to service to our customers, and dynamic and disciplined capital allocation for the benefit of our shareholders.”

The company’s aeronautics, missiles and fire control (MFC), rotary and mission systems (RMS) business segments recorded a year-on-year increase in net sales for the fourth quarter of 2021.

The aeronautics segment posted net sales of $7.1bn in the quarter ending on 31 December 2021. A year ago, the figure was $6.7bn.

MFC’s net sales totalled $3.2bn in Q4 2021, while RMS reported net sales of $4.5bn in the three-month period.

Quarterly operating profits also increased across the three segments.

Despite this, net sales for the space unit fell in the same period, from $3.2bn in Q4 2020, to $2.9bn in Q4 2021. The unit also reported a drop in operating profit.

Lockheed Martin also provided its 2022 financial outlook. It expects annual net sales to be approximately $66bn this year.

The company also said that it anticipates that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may block its planned acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne, citing antitrust concerns.

In such a case, Lockheed Martin may elect to defend the lawsuit or abandon the $4.4 billion deal.