General Dynamics Posts Top and Bottom Line Beats

General Dynamics Corp on Wednesday reported higher-than-expected earnings and revenue for the third quarter, and the maker of ships, tanks and business jets cited a significant rise in its backlog.

Net earnings rose 6.4 percent to $694 million, or $2.05 per share, from $652 million, or $1.84 per share, a year earlier. Revenue was nearly unchanged at $7.75 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast earnings per share of $1.91 and revenue of $7.58 billion.

Operating margins rose 50 basis points to 12.9 percent.

General Dynamics Chief Executive Officer Phebe Novakovic said a significant rise in the company's backlog, which rose 56 percent to $74.4 billion from a year earlier, would position the company well for coming opportunities ahead.

The company's backlog received a big boost in September, when it secured a $5.9 billion order to deliver tanks to the British army.

JP Morgan analyst Joe Nadol said the company's performance was generally strong across its four segments, and the aerospace sector delivered a "positive earnings surprise" by generating operating income of $411 million, $10 million more than expected. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)