NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lockheed Martin (LMT) - Get Report raised guidance for the full year as it reported third-quarter earnings that flew above analysts' estimates.

For the third quarter, the aerospace technology company and defense contractor reported earnings of $665 million, or $1.99 a share, up 19% from $557 million, or $1.53 a share in the same period a year ago. Total sales were $12.12 billion, up 7% over the year-ago period.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.81 per share on revenue of $11.74 billion.

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The company also raised profit guidance for the full-year 2011. Lockheed now expects earnings of $7.40 to $7.60 a share, up from its June estimate of $7.35 to $7.55 a share.

In signs of strength in the sector, fellow defense contractor

Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get Report

also raised guidance for the year.

-- Written by Carlton Wilkinson