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posted a stronger third-quarter profit as the company's nonaerospace business expanded 39%.

For its third quarter ended Sept. 30, the Newport Beach, Calif., business strategy outfit earned $2.6 million, or 12 cents a share, up from the year-ago $1.7 million, or 8 cents a share. Revenue rose 22% from a year ago to $19.7 million.

SM&A said its aerospace and defense business grew 16% and represented 67% of total revenue during the quarter. Gross margin fell to 42% of revenue from 44% a year earlier, as sales compensation rose and travel expenses increased. Overhead costs, though, fell to 23% of revenue from 27% a year ago.

The company said it expects to make about 46 cents a share for the year on revenue of $80 million. SM&A also added $8 million to its share-buyback plan, bringing its repurchase authority to $20 million.

Late Thursday, SM&A rose 6 cents to $8.97.