Lockheed Martin Profit Surges

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Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the nation's biggest defense contractor, on Tuesday reported its profit rose 56 percent in the second quarter, citing robust growth across most of its businesses, led by the systems and information technology group.

The company also raised its full-year earnings outlook. Its shares jumped $1.49, or 2.4 percent, to $64 in premarket trading.

Lockheed, whose products include F/A-22 fighter jets (search), submarine warfare systems, satellites and surveillance systems, reported earnings of $461 million, or $1.02 per share, for the April-June period compared with $296 million, or 66 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Sales rose 6 percent to $9.3 billion from $8.8 billion a year ago. Sales in the systems and IT group rose 17 percent to $4.79 billion.

Wall Street's consensus earnings forecast was 83 cents per share, the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, on projected revenue of $9.12 billion.

The results were helped by a $27 million gain related to its investment in satellite network operator Inmarsat (search), which bolstered earnings by 6 cents per share.

Lockheed forecast full-year earnings of $3.60 to $3.75 per share, on sales between $36.5 billion to $38 billion.

Analysts' full-year estimate is $3.54 per share on revenue of $37.51 billion. In April, Lockheed had forecast 2005 earnings of $3.35 to $3.55 per share, on sales ranging from $36.5 billion to $38 billion.