McLean, Va.-based defense contractor Exelis (NYSE:XLS) shares were mostly unchanged, down only 0.2% Friday, following the release of the company's Q2 earnings results.

Reporting a profit of $0.41 per diluted share, Exelis' earnings were down 11% in comparison with last year's second quarter but nonetheless exceeded analyst estimates. Sales declined 9% in comparison to last year, falling to $1.25 billion. A small decline in operating profit margin, to 10.2%, caused the decline in earnings to exceed the decline in sales.

Looking forward, Exelis guided investors to expect full-year sales in excess of $5 billion but continued declines in operating margin -- 9.4% to 9.8% margins being expected. Earnings are projected to range between $1.45 and $1.55 per share. 

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