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Northrop Grumman 2Q net income rises 2 pct.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) -- Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. said Wednesday that second-quarter net income rose 2 percent, easily beating Wall Street expectations, and the company boosted its outlook for the full year.

Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Va., earned $488 million, or $2.05 per share, up from $480 million, or $1.88 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding 8 cents per share in debt-related charges, the company posted an adjusted profit, excluding one-time items, of $2.13 per share for the second quarter.

The recent quarter's results are based on 237.5 million outstanding shares, while those of the year ago are based on 254.7 million.

Revenue was essentially flat at $6.29 billion compared with $6.27 billion a year ago, as higher aerospace sales offset declines at its information and technical systems businesses.

Analysts, on average, expected $1.71 per share on $5.98 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Defense contractors have taken a hit this year from federal budget cuts that have significantly reduced defense spending.

As of June 30 Northrop Grumman's backlog totaled $37.7 billion, down from $40.8 billion as of Dec. 31. The company attributed the drop to the federal budget cuts.

Northrop Grumman boosted its full-year profit and sales outlook. It now expects a 2013 profit of $7.60 to $7.80 per share, up from its previous prediction of $6.85 to $7.15 per share. Sales are now projected at about $24.3 billion, up from $24 billion.

Analysts expect a profit of $7.19 per share on $24 billion in revenue.

Northrop Grumman shares rose $2.74, or 3.1 percent, to $91.50 in premarket trading.