RealNews

Contractors brace for Pentagon’s new austerity

As the defense industry kicks off what is expected to be a strong earnings season, the mood is hardly celebratory. The reason: Defense contractors are staring down the barrel of what could be one of the toughest Pentagon budget cycles in years. Defense-industry executives and investors are bracing for a potential body blow as President Bush mulls deep Pentagon-budget cuts to both rein in the federal deficit and offset massive bills from Iraq and the Gulf Coast hurricanes. That has taken some of the glee out of coming earnings reports, such as the one filed Wednesday by General Dynamics Corp., which reported a boost in third-quarter profit of 16 percent. Full Story

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