Extended Overview of General Dynamics

With such result, estimates for the 2,400 F-111 (including their exports) were significantly reduced, but nevertheless, General Dynamics still managed to obtain a $300 million profit with this project.

Grumman started also to build the F-14 Tomcat, using many of the F-111 innovations, but build solely for its purpose of serving as a carrier-borne fighter.

General Dynamics Reorganization – it was in May 1965 that the company reorganized its activities into 12 operational divisions, having as a base their production lines. The board took the decision to have all future planes built in Fort Worth and thus ended the plane production in San Diego, which had been Convairs original plant. At the San Diego location the production of space and missile development continued.

The second CEO in this period, David S. Lewis required the headquarters of the company to be moved to St. Louis, event that took place finally in February 1971.

The success of F-16. – in 1972, General Dynamics posted its bid on the USAFs LWF project (Lightweight Fighter). Both General Dynamics and Northrop had been awarded prototype contracts. With its F-111 program winding down, General Dynamics needed urgently a new contract for aircraft.

The company organized its own “Skunk Works” group (the Advanced Concepts Laboratory) and managed to come up with a new aircraft design, which was considerably more modern than the Northrop version.

General Dynamics YF-16 had its first flight in January 1974 and showed to some extent a better performance than the YF-17 in their head-to-head testing. In January 1975 entered production under the name F-16, with an initial order of 650 units, and a total of 1,388. The F-16 also beat F-17 it its worldwide number of contracts, its total orders eventually summing up to more than 4,000 and transforming the aircraft into the largest and most successful General Dynamics had ever developed, and additionally in one of the most successful projects of the western military after the World War II.

The 80s

Changing Focus to Land Systems – in 1976, General Dynamics decided to sell the troubled Canadair back to the Canadian government, at the price of $38 million. By 1984, the company had four divisions: General Dynamics – Fort Worth, Convair – San Diego, General Dynamics – Pomona and General Dynamics – Electronics.

In the next year, a new reorganization created from the Convair Space Division the new Space System Division. It was also in 1985 that General Dynamics acquired Cessna.

The 90s

Still General Dynamics largest shareholder, Henry Crown died on 15 August 1990. Following his death, the company started to divest rapidly the divisions that were considered to be underperformers. Consequently, Cessna was sold again to Textron in the first month of 1992, while the San Diego missile production division was sold to General Motors – Hughes Aerospace only five months after, in May 1992. The Fort Worth aircraft production was sold to Lockheed in March 1993, and the Space System Division was sold one year later to martin Marietta. During the same year, the remaining Convair Aircraft Structure unit was also sold to McDonnel Douglass, while the remains of the Convair Division have been closed in 1996. But this exist of General Dynamics from the world of aviation was not meant to last for long time. In 1999, the company acquired Gulfstream Aerospace.

In the period of its aviation divesture, General Dynamics concentrated on its land and sea products, purchasing the Chrysler defense division in 1982 and renaming it General Dynamics Land Systems.

The 2000s

Continuing its focus on the Land Systems, in 2003 the company acquired also General Motors defense divisions and today is considered a major supplier of all types of armored vehicles, including names like M1 Abrams, LAV 25, Stryker and a large variety of such vehicles based on these chassis.

Government issues – the lawsuit and its settlement

It was on August 19, 2008 that General Dynamics finally agreed to pay $4 million in order to settle a lawsuit which had been brought by the U.S. government. The company was accused of having one of its units fraudulently billed the government for parts defectively manufactured and that had been used in U.S. military submarines and aircraft. The U.S. accused that from September 2001 until August 2003; General Dynamics had defectively manufactured or even failed to test several parts that have been used in the assembly of U.S. military aircraft (e.

g. The C-141 Starlifter transport plane). The General Dynamics unit involved was based in Glen Cove, New York and closed in 2004 (Washington Post, p.D4).

4. Financials of General Dynamics

As the website of the company presents, several events affected the Stock Price of General Dynamic Shares:

History of Events affecting Cost Basis of General Dynamics Shares

Date Reflected in Stock Price

Detail on Event

09 March 1955

100% stock dividend

10 November 1956

50% stock dividend

10 January 1969

Cost basis of GD shares reduced 7.0553% (due to pay out of Liquid Carbonic shares)

19 February 1979

2.5 for 1 stock split

17 November 1980 for 1 stock split

30 March 1993

Cost basis of GD shares reduced 17.43% (due to $20 per share Special Distribution)

15 June 1993

Cost basis of GD shares reduced 18.4% (due to $18 per share Special Distribution)

22 September 1993

Cost basis of GD shares reduced 12.02% (due to $12 per share Special Distribution)

08 April 1994 for 1 stock split

02 April 1998 for 1 stock split (distributed in the form of a stock dividend, payable 24 March 2006)

Source: General Dynamics Corporation, retrieved online at http://www.gd.com/

These events can be noted on the graph below, showing the General Dynamics Stock Prices from 1972 until today. The graph was customized on the site of Morningstar, www.morningstar.com, a Institutional Equity Research Company, on its Charts section within Tools page.

Source: Morningstar, www.morningstar.com,

The last Stock Quote information registered for the company looks as it follows:

10/10/08 4:01 P.M. ET

GD (Common Stock)

Exchange:NYSE (U.S. Dollar)



Todays Open

Intraday High

Previous Close

Intraday Low

52-Week High

52-Week High Date

52-Week Low

52-Week Low Date

PE Ratio

Market Cap

Shares Outstanding


Copyright © 2008 MarketWatch, Inc. All rights reserved.

Source: General Dynamics Corporation, retrieved online at http://www.gd.com/

The Financial Highlights of General Dynamics for the last three years show a continuous growth in company incomes, number of employees, as well as increased productivity (sales per employee).

Source: General Dynamics Corporation, retrieved online at http://www.gd.com/

Today, General Dynamics is a leading company within the business aviation segment, as well as in the land and expeditionary combat systems and vehicles, armaments, munitions; its shipbuilding and marine systems keep it also in a top position in the world, as well as its mission-critical information systems and technologies. With an increased number of employees, reaching 84,600 in October 2008, the company expects 2008 revenues to reach $29,5 billion.

Annex – from Wikipedia article General Dynamics Corporation, and HLTH pressreleases http://investor.shareholder.com/hlth/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=313710


1899 – Electric Boat was established.

1946 – Canadair purchased from the Canadian government

1952 – Electric Boat became General Dynamics.

1953 – Convair merged with General Dynamics.

1959 – Henry Crown acquires company and becomes majority shareholder.

1962-1963 – Convair-produced Mercury-Atlas rockets launches four manned Mercury missions into low Earth orbit, including John Glenn.

1971-1985 David S. Lewis, Jr., was chairman and chief executive officer. During his tenure, General Dynamics revenues and earnings quadrupled.

1982 – Formed General Dynamics Combat Systems after the acquisition of Chryslers combat systems.

1995 – Acquired Bath Iron Works from Prudential Insurance.

1996 – Acquired Teledyne Vehicle Systems

1997 – Acquired Lockheed Martin Defense Systems and Lockheed Martin Armament Systems.

1997 – Acquired Advanced Technology Systems, formerly an operating unit of Lucent Technologies.

1997 – Acquired Computing Devices International, formerly a division of Ceridian Corporation.

1998 – Acquired National Steel and Shipbuilding Company.

1999 – Acquired Gulfstream Aerospace from Forstmann Little.

1999 – Acquired GTE Government Systems, Communication Systems, Electronic Systems and Worldwide Telecommunication Systems Divisions.

2001 – Acquired Galaxy Aerospace Company from Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI)

2001 – GD Decision Systems formed (and later merged with General Dynamics C4 Systems) after acquisition of Motorolas Integrated Information Systems Group.

2002 – Acquired Advanced Technical Products.

2003 – Acquired GM Defense from General Motors.

2003 – Acquired Steyr Daimler Puch Spezialfahrzeug (SSF) from an Austrian investor group, which bought the company in 1998 from the Steyr-Daimler-Puch-conglomerate. SSF is now part of “General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems” which includes also the Spanish Santa Barbara Sistemas and the Swiss MOWAG, and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

2003 – Acquired Veridian and Digital Systems Resources.

2003 – Acquired Datrons.


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