Force Protection Q3 profit lags estimates

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Force Protection Inc, a maker of blast- and ballistic-protected vehicles deployed by the US military, posted quarterly earnings that lagged estimates on lower vehicle and spare sales.

The company, whose vehicles are designed for reconnaissance and urban operations, expects to conclude formal Light Protected Patrol Vehicle program contract negotiations with the UK Ministry of Defence this month.

The company, whose vehicles include Buffalo and Cougar variants, expects to deliver its Ocelot vehicles for training of UK forces in 2011.

For the July-September quarter, the company posted a loss of US$1.9 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with net income of US$3.2 million, or 5 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items related to litigation settlements and Cheetah vehicle inventory write-down costs, the company earned 5 cents a share.

Sales fell 44 percent to US$176.3 million, Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of US$171.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.



Shares of the Ladson, South Carolina-based company were down 1 percent after closing at US$5.56 on Wednesday on Nasdaq. The stock has gained 44 percent from its year-low of US$3.86 on Aug. 27.