Defense Stocks Move Higher on Mixed Earnings

Real America IndexAerospace and defense makers, which are facing the possibility of deep cuts in military spending next year, reported mixed third-quarter earnings that mostly beat estimates, on Wednesday.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) said that it earned $1.03 billion during the quarter, down from $1.1 billion last year. EPS of $1.35 topped Wall Street, which was expecting $1.12 a share, Reuters noted. The aircraft maker posted revenue of $20 billion, up 13% from 2011 and meeting analysts’ forecasts.

The company raised its profit outlook for the year to between $4.80 and $4.95 a share, up from earlier estimates of between $4.40 and $4.60 a share. The new forecast is above the $4.72 a share that analysts had expected. Boeing shares moved up more than 1% on the news.

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) reported income of $600 million, down from $652 million last year. EPS came in at $1.70, which missed the $1.78 that analysts had forecast. The company recorded revenue of $7.93 billion, up 1% from last year, but falling short of the $8.04 billion that Wall Street was looking for. Despite the misses, General Dynamics shares climbed 2%.

General Dynamics is part of InvestorPlace‘s Real America Index, a list of companies — one from each state — whose performance provides a window on the health of the U.S. economy. General Dynamics represents the state of Virginia in the index.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) posted EPS of $2.21, up 11% from $1.99 last year, and easily beating the $1.85 expected by analysts. Revenue dipped to $11.87, down 2% from 2011, but well above the $11.17 billion Wall Street had predicted. The results sent Lockheed Martin shares up more than 3%.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) said it earned $1.82 a share, down from $1.86 a share last year, but handily topping the $1.69 a share that analysts had estimated. Revenue declined to $6.27 billion, compared to $6.61 billion last year, and missed forecasts of $6.33 billion. Northrop Grumman shares increased fractionally in Wednesday morning trading.

The company raised its earnings outlook for the year to between $7.35 and $7.40 a share, up from earlier guidance of between $7.05 and $7.25 a share.

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