NEW YORK – Growing U.S. demand for military planes and information technology services helped boost quarterly earnings for Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) by 22 percent, the defense contractor said Tuesday.
Lockheed, which makes the Joint Strike Fighter (search) jet and provides communications systems to the government, posted second-quarter net earnings of $296 million, or 66 cents per share, up from $242 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts' average forecast was 61 cents per share, according to Reuters Research.
"We've seen strong growth in the IT line of business," said Chief Financial Officer Chris Kubasik, citing the government's drive to cut costs by outsourcing its communications infrastructure. "It was a great quarter and we're looking good for the year."
Second-quarter sales rose 14 percent to $8.78 billion.
Lockheed said it expects full-year results to come in at the high end of its April forecast for profit of $2.50 to $2.60 per share on revenue of $33.8 billion to $34.8 billion.
But even the top of the earnings range is below the average Wall Street estimate. Analysts expect $2.63 per share on revenue of $34.41 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
Lockheed shares slipped 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $51.68 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).