Defense

Lockheed Martin Expects Sales to Drop in 2013

Thanks to automatic spending cuts

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Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the world's largest defense contractor, said it expects 2013 sales to fall at the low end of its January forecast because of automatic U.S. budget cuts that began March 1.

Still, first-quarter profit beat analysts' estimates. Net income from continuing operations rose 14 percent to $761 million, or $2.33 a share, from $668 million, or $2.03 a share, a year earlier, Lockheed said today in a statement. The average estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was $2.04 a share. Sales declined 2 percent to $11.1 billion.