Shares of Northrop Grumman Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205518355/composite NOC +3.03% fell 1.2% in premarket trading Thursday, after the aeronautics, defense and space company reported fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations but sales that missed, with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 led to a tight labor market, elevated levels of employee leave and supply chain challenges weighing on results. Net income spiked up to $2.71 billion, or $17.14 a share, from $330 million, or $1.97 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as a $1.8 billion pension benefit, adjusted earnings per share came to $6.00, above the FactSet consensus of $5.96. Sales fell 15.4% to $8.64 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $9.00 billion, as declines in Aeronautics, Defense Systems and Mission Systems sales offset growth in Space Systems. For 2022, the company expects adjusted EPS of $24.50 to $25.10 and sales of $36.20 billion to $36.60 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus for EPS of $25.08 and for sales of $37.05 billion. Separately, the company said it added $2.0 billion to its share repurchase program. The stock has gained 3.9% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.86% has dropped 4.4%.