January 27, 2017 / 1:15 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Gen. Dynamics profit beats Wall St; shares jump 3 pct

(Adds outlook, share price move)

By Mike Stone and Rachit Vats

Jan 27 (Reuters) - General Dynamics Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher sales across all its business units, particularly in combat systems, sending shares up more than 3 percent on Friday.

The shares touched a record high of $183.61 on Friday before paring gains.

Chief Financial Officer Jason Aiken said the aerospace and defense company expected 2017 company-wide revenue to rise 2.5 percent to $31.35 billion to $31.4 billion.

On Friday’s investor call Aiken forecast 2017 revenue would rise at three of the company’s four business units. Aiken also said he anticipated a future increase in defense spending which could benefit the maker of aircraft, ships and armored vehicles.

The Falls Church, Virginia-based company said revenue for its aerospace unit, which makes Gulfstream business jets, could rise 6.4 percent in 2017.

However, Aiken forecast revenue for the Marine Systems segment, which makes ships and submarines for the U.S. Navy, could decline to $7.9 billion a drop of 2.6 percent from 2016 levels.

Sales in the Combat Systems unit, which makes the medium-weight Stryker combat vehicle, rose 10.5 percent to $1.68 billion in the fourth quarter. During the quarter, the U.S. Army placed a $320 million order related to Stryker.

Revenue for Combat Systems was forecast to rise by more than 6.6 percent this year.

General Dynamics said net income increased to $797 million, or $2.58 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $764 million, or $2.40 per share, a year earlier.

Earnings from continuing operations were $2.62 per share, handily beating the average analyst estimate of $2.52, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth quarter sales from the aerospace business, the company’s largest unit, rose 3.8 percent to $2.22 billion.

Total revenue for the quarter rose 5.4 percent to $8.23 billion but missed the analyst estimate of $8.29 billion.

Up to Thursday’s close, the stock had risen about 15.3 percent since Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S presidential elections. (Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington and Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and David Gregorio)

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