Another quarterly report, another beat for aerospace giant Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) .
After financial results were released this morning, investors bid shares at least 2% higher as Wall Street's fears over harsh defense-spending cutbacks seemed to fly out the window. Lockheed has outperformed the S&P 500 Index so far in 2013, over the last year, and the last three-year period.
While sales actually slipped 4% year-over-year for the quarter ended June 30, cost efficiencies enabled the company to boost diluted earnings per share, or EPS, 11% as Lockheed bought back 4.5 million shares for a total of $465 million. Sales, at $11.4 billion, came in far ahead of the $11.1 billion some analysts were expecting.
Though sales fell from the same quarter last year, the Missiles and Fire Control segment continued to grow, seeing revenues just over $2 billion in the quarter on greater demand from missile defense programs. Lockheed Martin also gave shareholders something to look forward to, boosting diluted EPS estimates for the fiscal year from the $8.80-$9.10 range to the $9.20-$9.50 range. The stock's annual dividend currently sits at 4%.
Lockheed also reported that it got a $75 million profit boost after settling "contract cost matters" including the canceled program to build a new helicopter for the U.S. president. And deliveries of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are ramping up. Lockheed handed over 12 in the most recent quarter, up from three a year earlier.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.