(Adds outlook, details)
NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp said on Thursday fourth-quarter profit rose slightly, helped by strong sales at its information technology, electronics and shipbuilding units.
The No. 3 Pentagon supplier, behind Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co forecast full-year profit in line with Wall Street estimates, as U.S. defense spending remains strong.
Los Angeles-based Northrop reported quarterly net profit of $454 million, or $1.31 per share, compared with $453 million, or $1.28 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Earnings from continuing operations were $1.32 per share, matching Wall Street forecasts, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales were higher across Northrop's information, aerospace, electronics and shipbuilding units, up 10 percent to $8.8 billion, ahead of analysts' average forecast of $8.4 billion.
The increase in profit was slight due to a $111 million one-time gain in the year-ago quarter from selling shares of car parts makerAutomotive Holdings Corp , which Northrop spun off several years ago.
For the whole year, Northrop forecast earnings from continuing operations of $5.50 to $5.75 per share, in line with Wall Street's average estimate of $5.62 per share. (Reporting by Bill Rigby, editing by Dave Zimmerman)