* Q4 adj EPS $1.47 vs Street view $1.16
* Sales up 3 pct to $6.89 billion
* Forecasts hnigher 2011 results (Adds estimates)
ATLANTA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Defense contractor Raytheon Co (RTN.N) posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings as it held down costs, and forecast higher sales and per-share profit for this year.
The missile maker on Thursday said net income was $459 million, or $1.25 a share, for the fourth quarter, compared with $504 million, or $1.30 a share, a year earlier.
Adjusted for items such as debt retirement, profit was $1.47 a share, well above analysts’ average forecast of $1.16, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 3 percent to $6.89 billion.
Chief Financial Officer Dave Wajsgras told Reuters that operating margins during the quarter improved. “That speaks directly to our focus on productivity and cost efficiencies,” he said.
Raytheon forecast profit from continuing operations of $4.83 to $4.98 for this year, compared with $4.79 for 2010. It expects full-year sales of $25.5 billion to $26.3 billion, compared with $25.2 billion for 2010.
Analysts currently expect profit of $4.93 a share for this year. (Reporting by Karen Jacobs; editing by John Wallace)