BAE Systems shares rise as defence giant sticks to upgraded guidance

Shares in BAE Systems (LSE: BA) were higher in London trading on Monday after the defence firm provided an update on its expected full-year performance. BAE Systems said it continues to anticipate sales growth of 5% to 7% in 2023 based on the $23.26 billion sales achieved in 2022.

The company also still expects underlying earnings before interest and tax to grow 6% to 8% from $2.48 billion made last year. In addition, BAE forecasts free cash flow will remain strong in 2023 at over £1.8 billion, compared to £1.95 billion generated in 2022.

BAE Systems pointed to positive factors supporting its outlook, including a strong pipeline of opportunities, robust order flow on new and existing programmes, and contract renewals where it holds incumbent positions.

The company’s CEO Charles Woodburn said these dynamics give BAE “confidence and visibility for good top line growth in the coming years.” He added that BAE remains focused on “operational performance and disciplined capital allocation.”

BAE Systems shares have performed well recently, gaining 28% year-to-date and 52% over the last 12 months. The stock traded 0.6% higher on Monday after confirming its full-year guidance.