Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) released the results from the first quarter of the year, coming out significantly ahead of EPS estimates. The company posted net earnings of $2.87 a share on revenue of $10.7 billion. Analysts had been expecting Lockheed to post earnings of$2.53 a share on revenue of $10.9 billion for the quarter.

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Comparing Lockheed Martin’s earnings results

The company’s revenue did decline from $11.1 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share rose, however, from $233 a share last year. Net earnings from last year’s first quarter included $121 million in pension expenses, which reduced earnings by 23 cents per share. The company also reported a $30 million special charge in connection with workforce reduction. That charge had a negative impact of 6 cents per share. Those items from last year’s earnings were partially offset by a reduction in income tax expenses in connection with research and development tax credits, which  increased earnings by 14 cents per share.

Breaking down Lockheed Martin’s results

In aeronautics, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) posted a 6% year over year increase in net sales. The company attributed the increase to F-35 production contracts and aircraft deliveries. Operating profits for the segment rose 4% year over year because of higher operating profits for the C-130 program, which was offset partially by lower aircraft deliveries.

In Information Systems and Global Solutions, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) reported a decline of 9% in sales because of the wind-down or completion of command and control programs and a decline in volume. Operating profits for the division fell 8% year over year.

In Missiles and Fire Control, the company reported a 6% decline in net sales because of lower sales in technical services programs and fewer deliveries in tactical missiles programs, which were partially offset by higher volume in Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense. Operating profits for the division rose 4% because of higher profits from tactical mission programs.

In Mission Systems and Training, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) reported an 11% decline in net sales because of lower sales for some integrated warfare systems and sensors because of lower volume and decreased volume in undersea systems. Operating profits for the division rose 24% because of higher operating profit on radar surveillance systems and combat systems programs.

In Space Systems, net sales fell 5% because of lower volume in government satellite programs. Operating profits rose 10% because of higher operating profit in those programs and higher equity earnings and other activities.

Lockheed Martin returns capital, guides for 2014

During the first quarter, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) repurchased 7 million shares for a total of $1.1 billion. The company also increased its guidance for this year’s operating profits, earnings per share and cash from operations because of cost cutting measures.

Lockheed Martin paid out cash dividends of $444 million during the quarter and spent $103 million in capital expenditures.