General Dynamics Corp., the second-largest maker of business jets by sales, said its order book for Gulfstream aircraft is becoming active, especially for large-cabin aircraft.
“Not to say business is booming, but clearly we are starting to trend to more activity,” Jay Johnson, chief executive officer of Falls Church, Virginia-based General Dynamics, told the Morgan Stanley Global Industrials Unplugged Conference today.
Gulfstream has limited the effects of a global recession by diversifying its customers, adding clients outside the U.S. and moving from public corporations to more private companies and individuals, Johnson said. More than half of new jet orders are coming from outside North America, and the company’s jet backlog of orders is almost billion, he said. The company will get a lift as it begins shipping new models, the G250 and G650, in 2011 and 2012, he said.
“You are going to see margin growth, you are going to see sales and you are going to see an order book that I think is going to be ever more robust as the industry comes out of the challenges it’s got right now,” Johnson said.
General Dynamics, which also makes Abrams battle tanks and Stryker troop transports, had total sales of .3 billion last year, including .5 billion from the aerospace unit that makes Gulfstream jets.
General Dynamics fell 26 cents to .34 at 10:57 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares dropped 37 percent in the 12 months before today.