The defense company and top government contractor said Tuesday that earnings jumped 16% to $2.57 per share in the third quarter. Analysts had forecast earnings of $2.26 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Another company with big government contracts, United Technologies (Fortune 500), also reported better-than-anticipated results on Tuesday. Its stock rose on the news as well. ,
Looking ahead, Lockheed now expects to earn between $9.40 and $9.70 per share in 2013, up from a previous estimate of between $9.20 and $9.50 per share.
However, Lockheed said sales were down 4% in the third quarter. The company has been hit by recent cuts in defense spending.
The outlook for 2014 is also less optimistic. Lockheed expects sales to decline a bit next year, although margins should hold steady.
The company's outlook is based on three assumptions: the government continues to fund the "key programs" where Lockheed has contracts, that Congress passes a budget "on a timely basis," and that forced cuts in federal spending known as "sequestration" are not worse than expected.
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