Gulfstream Continues To Soar
General Dynamics said yesterday that its third-quarter earnings rose 25 percent thanks to demand for its Gulfstream business jets and healthy combat systems growth. The company’s aerospace segment, which includes Gulfstream, saw its earnings rise 37 percent, to $226 million, while sales climbed 21 percent, to $1.31 billion. International sales are rising and accounted for 53 percent of Gulfstream’s orders in the three-month period, a trend evident throughout the industry. General Dynamics CEO Nicholas Chabraja said he expects sales to rise in the fourth quarter, though he admitted, “We could use a little let-up in demand since it’s outpacing our production capacity. For example, the next available G550 slot is in the second or third quarter of 2011.” Gulfstream shipped 37 green business jets (21 large cabin, 16 midsize) in the third quarter, compared with 29 (18 large cabin, 11 midsize) in the same period last year. In the first nine months, the company delivered 103 Gulfstreams–60 large cabin and 43 midsize.