Lockheed Martin Corp. forecast a key profit measure could rise by as much as 17% in 2014 as the defense contractor continues an efficiency drive to counter the impact of a second year of flat or declining sales.

The guidance came Thursday as Lockheed reported fourth-quarter profit fell 14% to $488 million, falling short of expectations for the first time in three quarters, and weighed by restructuring and other special charges as revenue dipped 4.7%.

Lockheed forecast full-year sales will be between $44 billion and $45.5 billion in 2014 compared with $45.4 billion last year, but per-share profit from continuing operations is seen at $10.25 to $10.55, an advance from last year’s $9.04. […]