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Defense contractor

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) Report

beat analysts' third-quarter profit expectations and lifted its earnings forecast for the fiscal year.

However, third-quarter revenue of $9.61 billion fell short of Wall Street's forecast by about $200 million. Lockheed earned $629 million, or $1.46 a share, easily surpassing the $1.24 consensus.

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The company had earnings of $427 million and 96 cents a share on sales of $9.20 billion in the year-ago period.

For the full year, Lockheed now expects to earn $5.45 to $5.60 a share, well above its old forecast of $5.10 to $5.30. The company raised the low end of its sales forecast by $500 million and is now anticipating a top line of $39 billion to $39.5 billion in 2006.

Looking to next year, Lockheed says it should earn $5.60 to $5.80 a share with sales of $41 billion to $42 billion.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial are calling for a full-year profit of $5.29 a share and earnings of $5.66 in 2007. Revenue estimates have been pegged at $39.6 billion this year and $41.3 billion next year.

Shares of Lockheed were gaining 4.3% in premarket trading Tuesday.