What happened

Shares of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD) stock are up 12.1% as of 11:35 a.m. EDT on Friday.

Coming on top of a 12.7% rise in Aerojet Rocketdyne stock in July, today's pop is a welcome addition for stockholders. So what contributed to the stock's most recent rise? In a word: earnings.

So what

Last night after close of trading, Aerojet reported its fiscal Q2 2017 earnings -- a bit ahead of schedule. Sales for the quarter came in ahead of expectations at $459.6 million. Profits per share were an astoundingly good $0.32. (Wall Street had been expecting only $0.15). This was more than three times the $0.09 per share that Aerojet had reported in the year-ago quarter.

Cash production was also up, with operating cash flow rising 14% year over year to $40.8 million. This puts Aerojet's cash flow in the black for the first half of the year, and leaves the company with positive free cash flow of $31.6 million for these first six months -- a nice change from the $23.6 million in cash burnt in the same period last year.

A rocket ascending above clouds

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

CEO Eileen Drake pronounced herself "thrilled" with the results, highlighting the company's 10% "second quarter organic sales growth" and "solid earnings growth." (Indeed, 356% growth is "solid," without any exaggeration.)

Really, the only negative note struck in Aerojet's entire release was the revelation that the company's backlog declined by $200 million since the start of this year. Still, at $4.3 billion, split roughly 50-50 between funded and unfunded backlog, Aerojet has enough work stacked up in backlog to keep it busy for the next two and a half years, at current run rates.

I'd say the company's future is looking more secure by the day.

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.