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Lockheed Profit Handily Beats Expectations

Defense company Lockheed Martin cruised past quarterly profit and sales targets, and the company also boosted its profit forecast for the current year.

Lockheed Martin reported fourth-quartet net income of $729 million, or $1.68 a share, up from $568 million, or $1.29 a share in the same quarter of 2005. That was well above the Thomson Financial consensus estimate of $1.46 a share.

Revenues rose 6% from the year-ago period to $10.84 billion, higher than expectations for $10.77 billion.

For 2007, Lockheed Martin boosted its earnings forecast to $5.80 to $6 a share, from $5.60 to $5.80 a share. On average, analysts were predicting a full-year profit of $5.87 per share.

But revenues are expected to be between $40.25 billion to $41.25 billion, down from earlier guidance of $41 billion to $42 billion. That's also below analysts' forecasts for $41.6 billion.

The aerospace and defense giant, based in Bethesda, Md., will host a webcast at 3 pm New York time.

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