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General Dynamics Gets Lift from Defense

First-quarter earnings topped Wall Street's estimates as the company experienced double-digit organic growth in its defense businesses.

Defense contractor

General Dynamics

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reported first-quarter earnings of $590 million, or $1.53 a share, an increase of 3% from a year earlier as revenue at the company's four segments rose at double-digit rates.

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In the year-earlier first quarter, the company reported earnings of $572 million, or $1.42 a share.

Revenue rose 18% to $8.26 billion from $7 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected first-quarter profit for General Dynamics of $1.46 a share on revenue of $7.82 billion.

In a statement Wednesday, the company said it experienced double-digit organic growth in its defense businesses, "demonstrating the continued strength of demand among government customers" for its products and services. Aerospace revenue rose to $1.46 billion from $1.28 billion, mostly attributable to the company's acquisition in late 2008 of Jet Aviation.

Operating margins companywide were 11% in the quarter, down from 12.3% a year earlier.