Northrop Grumman ( NOC) posted second-quarter earnings that rose 17% from a year ago, but the defense contractor offered a mixed forecast for all of 2006, including a reduction to its revenue target.Los Angeles-based Northrop had net income for the quarter of $430 million, or $1.23 a share, up from $367 million, or $1 a share, a year ago. Northrop had a profit from continuing operations of $442 million, or $1.26 a share, vs. $369 million and $1.01 a share, last year. Second-quarter sales fell to $7.6 billion from $7.8 billion in the prior year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $1.08 a share and revenue of $7.8 billion. For the full year, Northrop expects to earn $4.35 to $4.45 a share and to produce cash from operations of $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion. The company had previously predicted a profit of $4.25 to $4.40 a share. However, Northrop trimmed its sales guidance, saying it now expects a top line of $30.5 billion this year, about $500 million below its old forecast. Wall Street's consensus estimates call for earnings of $4.39 and revenue of $31.1 billion. "With this quarter's solid results, including contract acquisition growth of more than 50%, we continue to expect double-digit growth in 2006 earnings per share driven by expanding operating margin and a lower share count," said Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop's chairman and CEO. Contract acquisitions increased 52% to $8.1 billion in the second quarter, and Northrop's total backlog was $58.1 billion at June 30, up from $56.9 billion a year earlier. Shares of Northrop edged down 5 cents to $66.88 Thursday.