General Dynamics Corp. (GD), the U.S. government’s No. 3 contractor, reported first-quarter profit exceeding analysts’ estimates on higher Gulfstream jet sales.
Net income from continuing operations in the quarter rose 4.2 percent to $595 million, or $1.71 a share, compared with $571 million, or $1.62 a share, a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. That beat estimates of $1.64, the average of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales fell 1.1 percent to $7.32 billion.
Sales in the company’s aerospace division rose 20 percent to $2.13 billion as it delivered more of its Gulfstream business jets.
Defense companies such as Falls Church, Virginia-based General Dynamics are fighting for a shrinking pool of federal contracts as the U.S. withdraws combat troops from Afghanistan and reduces spending under a process known as sequestration.
Some of the across-the-board cuts were averted when President Barack Obama in January signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30.
General Dynamics has risen 61 percent in the last 12 months through yesterday, compared with a 19 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index during that time.
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