The company reported earnings of $520 million from continuing operations, or $1.81 per diluted share.
The company received a tax benefit of $298 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010 when it generated $740 million of earnings from continuing operations, or $2.44 per diluted share.
Second quarter 2011 sales were $6.56 billion compared with $7.26 billion in the prior year period. The company said the figure in part reflects lower Defense Department spending and delayed awards for manned aircraft programs.
“Our focus on performance, our portfolio and effective cash deployment continues to generate value in a challenging budget environment, ” said Wes Bush, Northrop chairman, CEO and president. “While sales for the quarter were impacted by several factors, the strong margin rates generated by our businesses largely offset the effects of lower sales. Based on our year-to-date results we are increasing our EPS guidance and maintaining our guidance for cash generation, despite a reduced top line outlook that reflects the realities of our current budget environment.”