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Lockheed Martin profit rises 17 percent in third quarter

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By Reuters
Lockheed Martin profit rises 17 percent in third quarter
A RAF Lockheed Martin F-35B fighter jet taxis along a runway after landing at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, Britain July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo   -   Copyright  Peter Nicholls(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N>, the Pentagon’s No. 1 weapons supplier, reported a 17 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, driven by more production of F-35 fighter jets.

Net income rose to $1.47 billion, or $5.14 per share, in the third quarter, from $963 million, or $3.32 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 16 percent to $14.31 billion.

Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson said the company had “another quarter of strong growth leading us to improve our expectations for our full-year financial results.”

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company raised its 2018 net sales forecast to $53 billion from a range of $51.6 billion to $53.1 billion.

Full-year profit is expected to rise to $17.50 per share from its earlier estimate of $16.75 to $17.05.

Net sales rose to $14.31 billion in the third quarter from $12.34 billion a year earlier.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, DC; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)