updated 10/23/2007 8:33:33 AM ET 2007-10-23T12:33:33

Lockheed Martin Corp., the world's largest military contractor, said Tuesday its third-quarter earnings jumped 22 percent as sales and profit rose in each of the company's four operating units.

The Bethesda, Md.-based maker of F-16 fighter planes and electronic combat systems also boosted its full-year earnings targets, based on the better-than-expected quarterly results and a reduction in expenses.

In the third quarter, net income rose to $766 million, or $1.80 per share, from $629 million, or $1.46 per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue climbed 11 percent to $11.1 billion from $9.61 billion last year. Lockheed's aeronautics unit led the gains, with 12 percent higher sales and 31 percent higher operating earnings, as demand for F-22s and F-35s rose.

The results easily surpassed consensus estimates on Wall Street, where analysts expected profit of $1.64 per share on sales of $10.38 billion, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

Looking ahead, the company now expects fiscal 2007 profit of $6.70 to $6.85 per share, up from a prior estimated range of $6.65 to $6.80 per share. Lockheed backed its outlook for full-year sales of $41 billion to $41.75 billion.

Wall Street is seeking profit of $6.87 per share on sales of $41.69 billion.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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