Rockwell Collins ( COL), a maker of communication and aviation electronics for commercial and military aircraft, said its third-quarter earnings rose 19.8%, on revenue growth and strong operating performance. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company earned $121 million, or 70 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $101 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 69 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Third-quarter revenue increased 8.3% to $964 million as against analysts' expectation of $1 billion. The company increased its earnings guidance from $2.60 a share to $2.70 a share to $2.65 a share to $2.70 a share, on revenue of $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion for the full year. Analysts estimate stands at $2.70 a share on revenue of $3.91 billion. "Our third quarter financial results reflect another demonstration of excellent execution by both our Government and Commercial Systems businesses," the company said. Government systems, which provides aviation electronics, navigation and precision guidance, to the U.S. government, recorded an increase of 8% in sales to $499 million. Commercial systems, which provides aviation electronics systems, products to air transport, business and regional aircraft manufacturers and airlines worldwide, achieved an increase of 8.6% in sales to $465 million. Operating profit in the third quarter increased 23.6% to $199 million and operating margin rose 255 basis points to 20.6%. During the third quarter, the company repurchased 2.2 million shares of common stock at a total cost of $125 million. Total of $331 million is available for repurchase under authorized program.