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Aerospace, Defense ETFs Take Flight on Strong Lockheed Martin, United Technologies Results

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Aerospace and defense sector-related exchange traded funds were among the top performers Tuesday after Lockheed Martin (LMT) first quarter earnings beat expectations and United Technologies (UTX) raised projections for the rest of the year.

Among the leading ETFs of Wednesday, the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (Cboe:ITA) gained 2.0%,  Invesco Aerospace & Defense Portfolio (PPA) rose 2.1% and the SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR) increased 2.4%.

Lockheed Martin shares jumped 5.7% on Wednesday. LMT makes up 7.1% of PPA's underlying portfolio, 6.0% of ITA and 3.9% of XAR.

The world's largest defense contractor showed first-quarter earnings that were far above Wall Street expectations and updated its forecast for the rest of 2019, with with earnings anticipated between $20.05 a share and $20.35 a share, compared to its previous range of $19.15 a share to $19.45 share, CNBC reports. Anticipated full year revenue was also raised, to a range between $56.8 billion and $58.3 billion, compared to its prvious $55.8 billion to $57.3 billion range.

Lockheed Martin reported that revenue rose 23% in the March quarter as the company executed contracts for F-35 combat jets, munitions and missile-defense systems for the U.S. and international customers, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has relied heavily on its F-35, missile-defense systems and surging production of munitions to drive growth.

Meanwhile, United Technologies shares advanced 2.3% on Wednesday. UTX makes up 17.7% of ITA's portfolio, 7.3% of PPA and 4.2% of XAR.

Unted Technologies said profits rose 3.7% in the first quarter and raised its earnings projections for 2019, pointing to better-than-expected results from its recent acquisition of airline-parts maker Rockwell Collins Inc, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“We had a really good start to the year,” Chief Executive Greg Hayes said on a conference call Tuesday, highlighting the fact that the Otis division performed above internal projections and a lower tax helped the results overall.

The conglomerate spun off the Otis elevator and Carrier building-systems businesses into separate companies.

In the first quarter, the company revealed a net income of $1.35 billion, or $1.56 a share, up from $1.3 billion, or $1.62 a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of $1.91 a share were above the $1.71 a share expectations.

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