PERSONNEL

Allied Defense Finance Chief Quits

Vienna-based Allied Defense Group said finance chief Charles A. Hasper resigned to take the same job at District-based Global Secure.

Hasper had been with Allied Defense for four years. His resignation follows that of retired Maj. Gen. John G. Meyer Jr., who stepped down as chief executive in May to take the top job at another weapons maker. The new chief executive, retired Maj. Gen. John J. Marcello, said Larry Fischer, finance chief of a company subsidiary, will take over Hasper's job until a permanent replacement is named.

EARNINGS

Lockheed Profit Boosted by IT Work

Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's largest contractor, reported a 56 percent increase in profit for its second quarter as information technology work helped offset a drop in its core military aircraft business. The Bethesda-based maker of the F-16 fighter jet and military satellites and rockets reported profit of $461 million ($1.02 a share), compared with $296 million (66 cents) in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Revenue increased 5.9 percent, to $9.3 billion.

The systems and information technology group reported a 17.1 percent increase in revenue, to $4.79 billion, while the aeronautics business reported an 8.3 percent decrease, to $2.88 billion, because of declining demand for the F-16. The quarter was also helped by a $27 million gain related to Lockheed's investment in satellite network operator Inmarsat.

Lockheed raised its earnings forecast for 2005 to $3.60 to $3.75 a share, from a previous range of $3.35 to $3.55. The company's stock increased $1.48, or 2.4 percent, to close at $63.99 a share.

Legg Mason Doesn't Meet Expectations

Legg Mason, which is planning a business swap with Citigroup that would make it the fifth-largest U.S. asset manager, said its first-quarter earnings rose 30.5 percent. Yet the Baltimore-based firm did not meet Wall Street analysts expectations because of weaker-than-expected results in its brokerage and investment banking businesses, both of which are to become part of Citigroup later this year, and its shares were off $8.72 to close at $103.30.

Legg Mason earned $112.8 million (93 cents) in the quarter ended June 30, up from $86.4 million (76 cents). Revenue grew 25.3 percent, to $437.7 million. Not including brokerage and investment banking operations, income rose 40 percent to $89.1 million.

Its biggest driver of profit has been the assets it manages for clients, for which it typically charges a fee that is a percentage of the assets under management. As of June 30, assets under management were $397.5 billion, an increase of 34.4 percent in the past year.

Black & Decker Profit Up 26.6 Percent

Black & Decker, crediting brisk sales of power tools and home improvement products, said second-quarter profit jumped 26.6 percent, to $154 million ($1.93), from $121.6 million ($1.53). Revenue at the Towson company jumped 31 percent, to $1.7 billion. Sales from existing businesses accounted for 11 percentage points of the increase, while its Porter-Cable and Delta Tools Group acquisitions accounted for the other 20 percentage points.

Loans Contribute to Mercantile's Profit Rise

Mercantile Bankshares, a Baltimore-based banking company with branches in the Washington suburbs, earned $67.9 million (84 cents) in the second quarter, up from $56.3 million (71 cents). The results include Community Bank of Northern Virginia, which was bought by Mercantile in May and whose $800 million of assets was included in Mercantile's $16.09 billion in total assets.

For the first six months of the year, Mercantile earned $130.5 million ($1.62), compared with $112 million ($1.40) in the first half of 2004. Mercantile, which has 239 branches in the region, said the increase in earnings was attributable to loan growth and improved profitability of its loan portfolio.

Fees Help Boost Choice Hotels Sales

Choice Hotels International of Silver Spring said second-quarter profit rose 16.5 percent, to $21.5 million (65 cents) from $18.5 million (53 cents). The 5,000-location hotel chain said revenue increased 14.2 percent, to $122.4 million, helped by a 26 percent jump in franchise and licensing fees.

Choice also raised its 2005 earnings outlook, forecasting a per-share profit of $2.43 to $2.48. The company had previously forecast 2005 earnings in the range of $2.39 to $2.44 a share.

Corporate Executive Board Profit Up 33.9%

The Corporate Executive Board said second-quarter profit increased 33.9 percent, to $17 million (41 cents) from $12.7 million (32 cents).

The District-based company, which provides research and analysis to more than 2,300 companies, said revenue rose 30 percent, to $87.4 million.

Lafarge Gains on Canadian Dollar

Lafarge North America, a Herndon maker of construction materials, said it earned $142.9 million ($1.81), up from $102 million ($1.34). The company attributed the higher profit to strong sales in concrete and asphalt as well as a strong Canadian dollar. Revenue for the three months ended June 30 rose 18.5 percent, to $1.17 billion. LaFarge said the results included a credit of $12.9 million that reflected a tax adjustment associated with the repatriation of assets from Canada.

TNS Profit Takes Steep Drop

TNS, a Reston data communications company specializing in point-of-sale transaction and electronic commerce services, said its second-quarter earnings dropped to $251,000 (1 cent) from $1.5 million (5 cents). Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 rose 7.2 percent, to $65.4 million.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.