L-3 ( LLL) posted a solid third quarter and guided toward in-line performances in the fourth quarter and 2006. The New York defense contractor made $135 million, or $1.11 a share, up from the year-ago $103 million, or 89 cents a share. Revenue rose to $2.51 billion from $1.78 billion a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast a $1.09-a-share profit on sales of $2.5 billion. The company also said it expects to make $4.12 to $4.15 a share for the year on sales of more than $9.3 billion, and 2006 should bring earnings of $4.80 to $4.95 a share on sales of $11.7 billion.