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Raytheon raises outlook after 1Q net grows 9 pct

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) -- Raytheon Co., maker of the Patriot missile, said Thursday that its first-quarter profit grew 9 percent as the defense contractor cut costs, and it raised its earnings outlook for the year.

Despite a revenue drop, the Waltham, Mass.-based company earned $488 million, or $1.49 per share, in the three months ending March 31, compared with $448 million, or $1.32 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Stripping out the effect of a pension-related charge and a research and development federal tax credit that was extended in January, profit came to $1.56 per share. That's above the $1.28 per share Wall Street analysts were expecting, according to research firm FactSet.

Revenue fell about 1 percent, to $5.88 billion from $5.94 billion. Analysts expected a steeper drop, to $5.69 billion. A 1 percent decline in costs, to $5.17 billion, helped protect profit despite the revenue drop.

Sales rose at its integrated defense systems and missile systems units, but fell in its other divisions. The company benefited from landing more international business, said Citi analyst Jason Gursky in a research note.

The company updated its outlook for the year to reflect what it expects will happen to its business due to the government's automatic spending cuts, which went into effect in March.

It cut its revenue outlook to a range of $23.2 billion to $23.7 billion, from its January view of $23.6 billion to $24.1 billion. But it lifted its adjusted profit outlook for the year by 10 cents, to $5.75 to $5.90 per share.

Analysts project profit of $5.32 per share on revenue of $23.8 billion.

Shares rose 31 cents to $58.44 in morning trading Thursday.