There's no business like the arms business, here's how the Pentagon's top weapon supplier did

This thoMatt Cardy/Getty ImagesA F-35B aircraft approaches a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft to re-fuel as it flies over the North Sea having taken off from RAF Fairford on July 1, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Pentagon’s top weapons supplier, posted better than expected quarterly earnings, due in part, to sales of helicopters from newly acquired manufacturer Sikorsky.

Lockheed Martin said Q3 sales in its rotary and mission systems business unit rose 55% to $3.35 billion, which accounts for approximately $1.2 billion in sales of Sikorsky helicopters.

The defence giant acquired Sikorsky, which notably manufacturers UH-60 Black Hawks and the presidential helicopter, for a cool $9 billion in June from United Technologies Corporation.

Considered a bellwether for the US defence sector, Lockheed Martin earned an adjusted $3.61 per share on revenue of $11.55 billion. Analysts were looking for adjusted EPS of $2.89 on revenue of $11.45 billion.

Lockheed Martin also raised its 2016 adjusted profit and sales outlook. The company raised its profit forecast to $12.10 per share from $11.15 — $11.45, and adjusted sales to $46.5 billion from $45 billion — $46.2 billion.

Uh60Department of Defence photo by Sgt. Taresha Neal Joiner/US ArmyA US Army crew chief observes the horizon from the side door of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter as they prepare to land on a helipad at Camp Stehenson, Guyana, during a training event in support of Exercise Fused Response 2012 on March 8, 2012.

Despite significant snags in developing America’s most expensive weapons system, sales in Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics business, the company’s largest, rose 7% (approximately $267 million) compared to the same timeframe in 2015.

This increase is due to “higher net sales of approximately $300 million for the F-35 program due to increased volume on aircraft production and sustainment activities,” according to the earnings report.

Looking forward, Lockheed Martin anticipates its 2017 net sales to increase by approximately 7% as compared to 2016.

Jpn f35Courtesy of Lockheed MartinA photo from the roll out of the first Japan Air Self Defence Force F-35A Lightning II.

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