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WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - General Dynamics Corp Chief Executive Phebe Novakovic forecast a slight drop in earnings per share and revenue for 2014 on Wednesday, but said the company would aggressively return cash to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends.
Novakovic forecast an 11 percent increase in aerospace revenue, but said sales would likely decline in combat systems and the information systems businesses.
Overall, she forecast revenue of $30 billion in 2014, down from $31.2 billion in 2013. Earnings per share would be around $6.80-6.85, down slightly from $7.03 per share in 2013, and the company would likely adjust its guidance after share buybacks in the first quarter, she said.
Novakovic said the company planned to repurchase 11.4 million shares in the first quarter after taking a pause due to pension rules in the fourth quarter of 2013. She said General Dynamics would seek authority for more repurchases at its February board meeting.