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General Dynamics Profit Falls, but Beats Wall Street Forecasts

General Dynamics posted lower second-quarter profit Wednesday, but beat Wall Street expectations on strong demand for its business jets and military vehicles.

The U.S. No. 4 defense contractor, which makes Abrams tanks and Gulfstream aircraft, reported quarterly net profit of $513 million, or $1.26 per share, compared with $636 million, or $1.56 per share, in the year-ago quarter when its earnings were boosted by a gain from the sale of its aggregates business.

On a continuing operations basis, General Dynamics said earnings rose to $518 million, or $1.27 per share, from $420 million, or $1.03 per share.

Excluding a gain related to the resolution of tax audits, the company posted earnings of $1.22 per share, beating Wall Street expectations of $1.17 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 11% to $6.6 billion boosted by a 19% jump in sales from its armored vehicle group.

The company's total order backlog at the end of June rose to $44.6 billion from $43.6 billion.

General Dynamics , which also makes submarines and other ships for the U.S. Navy, forecast 2007 earnings from continuing operations in a range of $4.85 to $4.90, ahead of Wall Street's expectations.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting the company to post 2007 earnings of $4.79 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

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