Lockheed Martin posts earnings of $2.57 a share vs. $2.26 estimate

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Lockheed Martin, the No. 1 supplier to the Pentagon, reported higher third-quarter earnings on Tuesday despite a 4 percent drop in sales, and lifted its forecast for full-year earnings.

Lockheed said net earnings from continuing operations rose 15 percent to $842 million from $727 million a year earlier despite cuts in U.S. military spending. Earnings per share rose 16.3 percent to $2.57. It beat the $2.26 expected by analysts in a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company expects consolidated operating profit ranging from $4.625 billion to $4.775 billion for the full year, up from an earlier forecast of $4.55 billion to $4.7 billion. It forecast earnings per share of $9.40 to $9.70, up from $9.20 to $9.50.

Shares of Lockheed Martin moved higher in pre-market trading immediately following the report. (Click here to get the latest quote.)

By Reuters