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Lockheed Martin 4Q net income falls 17 percent

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income fell 17 percent, but issued a better than expected profit guidance for the current year.

The Bethesda, Md.-based aerospace and defense contractor earned $569 million, or $1.73 per share, down from $683 million, or $2.09 per share, in the 2011 fourth quarter.

Revenue edged down less than a percent to $12.1 billion from $12.21 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.82 per share on $11.17 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Lockheed said the recent quarter's results were pulled down by costs related to a pension adjustment, income tax expenses and job cuts.

Revenue at the company's aeronautics, missiles and fire control, and mission systems and training businesses all posted slight increases, but declined at its information systems and space systems units, as a result of lower government demand.

For the full year 2012, Lockheed Martin earned $2.75 billion, or $8.36 per share, up from $2.66 billion, or $7.81 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $47.18 billion from $46.5 billion.

Lockheed projected a 2013 profit of between $8.80 and $9.10 per share, on $44.5 billion to $46 billion in revenue. The projections are based on expectations that the U.S. government continues to fund the company's programs and approves defense budget funding for the year that's in line with what the president has proposed for the second half of the federal fiscal 2013.

Analysts expect a profit of $8.27 per share, on average, with estimates ranging from $7.89 to $8.65. Wall Street's average revenue projection is $45.27 billion, with estimates ranging from $44.68 billion and $45.72 billion.

Lockheed Martin shares closed Wednesday at $96.07, their highest point since October 2008.

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