Lockheed Martin has reported increase in the net sales to $16.6bn during the third quarter (Q3) of 2022 when compared to $16.0bn in Q3 2021.

The company’s net earnings totalled $1.8bn, or $6.71 per share, for this quarter that ended on 25 September 2022. 

The strong quarter was highlighted by the increase in the operating margins, orders and free cash flow, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Cash from operations in Q3 was $3.1bn, while the capital expenditures were $405m, resulting in $2.7bn free cash flow.

This increase has been attributed to the production timing and billing cycles of the F-35 fighter jet programmes.

The net sales in the aeronautics’ sector have increased by 8%, while the net sales particularly for F-35 programme increased to $425m due to the sales deferred from the second quarter of 2022.

Furthermore, the company’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) sales was up by 2%, due to higher sales of $95m for integrated air and missile defence programmes.

Lockheed Martin CEO, chairman and president James Taiclet said: “Lockheed Martin delivered solid quarter, highlighted by strength in free-cash flow, orders and operating margins, that positions us well to achieve our full-year commitments.”

Besides, the quarterly results shows that the company has increased its backlog to $140bn and has returned $2.1bn cash to shareholders via share repurchases and dividends.

Taiclet added: “In addition, we are investing in production and sustainment capacity for the solutions needed now to defend allies and our nation, including F-35, Javelin and HIMARS.

“Moreover, we today announced an additional $14bn in share repurchase authority to go with recently increased, industry-leading dividend for benefit of our investors.”

During the earnings call, Lockheed Martin chief financial officer Jay Malave said that the company is maintaining its guidance from last quarter for sales, earnings per share and free cash flow.