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General Dynamics Second-Quarter Profit Beats Estimates

General Dynamics Corp. reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as higher Gulfstream business-jet sales helped offset declining revenue at the unit that produces military vehicles and munitions.

Net income increased 1 percent to $640 million, or $1.81 a share, compared with $634 million, or $1.77 a share, a year earlier, the Falls Church, Virginia-based company said today in a statement. Analysts predicted $1.62 a share, the average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell less than 1 percent to $7.91 billion.

Sales at General Dynamics’ aerospace unit, which produces the Gulfstream jets, gained 29 percent from a year earlier on rising deliveries, while revenue declined 28 percent at the combat-systems division.

The company received “orders for every Gulfstream aircraft model in second-quarter 2013, demonstrating continued demand across its portfolio of business-jet products,” according to the statement.

General Dynamics rose 1.5 percent to close at $85.31, the highest price since Sept. 8, 2008. The shares have gained 23 percent this year.

The company, which makes Abrams tanks, is consolidating its defense business into fewer units and seeking international sales as automatic U.S. budget cuts known as sequestration are stripping $37 billion from Pentagon programs this fiscal year.

Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, raised its full-year profit forecast yesterday as it reported second-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

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