Defense company L3 Technologies  (LLL - Get Report)  smashed analysts' expectations with its first-quarter results Wednesday.

L3 reported earnings of $2.71 a share in the first quarter. Earnings adjusted for non-recurring items were even better at $2.89 a share, up from an adjusted $2.34 a share in the same period a year before. 

Analysts expected the company to earn $2.51 a share.

Revenue also beat forecasts. Sales at the company were $2.7 billion, up from $2.4 billion in the comparable year-earlier period. Wall Street had expected sales of $2.5 billion in the first quarter.

"We had strong first quarter performance highlighted by a notable book-to-bill ratio of 1.25 and increases in sales, operating income, operating margin, EPS and free cash flow," said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3's chairman, CEO and president.

A book-to-bill ratio of more than 1.0 means that the new business being sold is greater than the invoiced billing being sent out to customers. In other words, a ratio of 1.25 means the company is expanding its sales.

The stock was inactive in premarket trading Wednesday.

Constable owns none of the securities listed in this story.