General Dynamics reported on Wednesday a fourth-quarter net profit that rose to $701 million, or $2.12 a share, from $495 million, or $1.41 a share, a year ago. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings per share were $2.19, beating the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of $2.13. Revenue rose 3.9% to $8.36 billion, above analyst projections of $8.08 billion, as growth in its aerospace, combat systems and marine systems businesses offset weakness in information systems and technology. The company's backlog was $72.4 billion at the end of 2014, up 58% from the end of 2013. The stock, which was still inactive ahead of the open, has gained 0.4% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has advanced 2.2%.
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