Raytheon CEO says the company will 'load up' on share buybacks in 2021 after strong 4th-quarter earnings

Raytheon CEO says the company will 'load up' on share buybacks in 2021 after strong 4th-quarter earnings
Raytheon Technologies posted strong fourth quarter earnings results Tuesday.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

  • Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told CNBC Tuesday he expects to "load up" on share buybacks in 2021.
  • Raytheon outperformed analyst estimates in the fourth quarter, especially in terms of cash flow.
  • The aerospace defense conglomerate posted $2.3 billion in pro forma free cash flow in 2020.

Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes appeared on CNBC Tuesday morning, saying he plans to use his company's liquidity to "load up" on share buybacks in 2021.

The move by Hayes comes after Raytheon revealed strong fourth-quarter earnings, especially in terms of cash flow.
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The aerospace defense conglomerate pulled in $1.4 billion in cash from operations in the fourth quarter and posted $700 million in free cash flow while funding $800 million in discretionary pension spending.

"We closed the year on a strong note with fourth-quarter sales, EPS, and free cash flow exceeding our expectations, as we delivered on our customer commitments and drove strong execution against our cost and cash actions," said Greg Hayes. "As a result, we delivered $2.3 billion in pro forma free cash flow for the year, which includes $800 million of discretionary pension contributions."

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Raytheon's earnings win was somewhat unexpected as the company has been under pressure throughout 2020 and into this year. Both the pandemic and tensions with China have hit at Raytheon's core aerospace operations and hurt results.

Cost-cutting initiatives were put in place to keep the cash flow coming during the downturn. Raytheon cut some 21,000 workers and independent contractors while putting a hiring freeze in place. Still, the company saw its EPS and revenue drop substantially year-over-year. Raytheon earned just $0.74 per share, beating street estimates of $0.70 but missing the $1.94 per share mark from a year ago.
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Raytheon also posted revenues of $16.42 billion which narrowly surpassed analyst estimates for the fourth-quarter, but didn't come close to the $19.55 billion in revenue the aerospace defense conglomerate earned in 2019.

Despite the near-term revenue shortfall, Raytheon has made some strong moves of late to increase revenues going forward, including its acquisition of Blue Canyon Technologies. Blue Canyon is a satellite company that gives Raytheon the ability to provide "a complete solution for customers for low-Earth orbit satellites," according to CEO Greg Hayes.

Hayes expects the space division of the company to see strong growth over the next "five to 10 years."
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Raytheon boasts 13 "buy" ratings, four "neutral" ratings, and zero "sell" ratings from analysts.

Shares traded at $68.43 as of 1:25 pm EST on Tuesday, giving the company a market cap of just under $100 billion.

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