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General Dynamics (GD) - Get Free Report earned $3.14 a share in the third quarter, topping analysts' estimates by 7 cents, as revenue of $9.76 billion rose 7.3% from a year earlier and was in line with forecasts.

Analysts were expecting the defense company to report adjusted earnings of $3.07 a share on sales of $9.77 billion. A year earlier, General Dynamics earned $2.89 a share on revenue of $9.09 billion.

The company said "order activity remained strong" across its aerospace and defense portfolios, with a book-to-bill of 1-to-1.

The stock fell 1.59% to $177.02 in trading Wednesday. 

General Dynamics said operating margin in the quarter was 12.5%, up 110 basis points sequentially.

"Margins advanced nicely in the quarter due to Gulfstream's continuing ability to efficiently transition its production to new models, coupled with solid operating performance at the defense businesses," said Phebe N. Novakovic, chairman and CEO. "Our continued focus on operating excellence and driving cost efficiencies, coupled with new business opportunities, should enable us to build on these results."

Gulfstream G600 customer deliveries began in August, less than two months after receiving Federal Aviation Administration type and production certificates, the company noted in a press statement.

Rival Lockheed Martin (LMT) - Get Free Report on Tuesday posted third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates and raised its full-year guidance. The stock finished Tuesday's session slightly lower after its 2020 outlook was shy of analysts' expectations.

Fellow defense giant Northrop Grumman (NOC) - Get Free Report is expected to report earnings Thursday.

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