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Lockheed Martin Wins $50M Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles Deal

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Lockheed Martin LMT recently won a $49.6-million contract for the procurement of Joint Air-to-Ground missiles (JAGMs). The contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

Work related to the deal will be carried out in Orlando, FL, and is expected to be completed by Feb 28, 2021. Lockheed Martin will utilize fiscal 2017 and 2018 other procurement and Army funds for completing the task.

A Brief Note on Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles

Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGMs) are precision-guided munitions that are used on Joint rotary and fixed-wing platforms, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to destroy high-value stationary, moving, and relocatable land and naval targets. JAGM is the intended replacement for Hellfire, air-launched TOW and Maverick families of missiles.

JAGM employs a multi-mode guidance section that combines improved Semi-Active Laser and millimeter wave radar sensors providing precision strike and fire-and-forget capability against stationary and moving land and
maritime targets in adverse weather and obscured battlefield conditions.

What’s Favoring Lockheed Martin?

Increasing geopolitical and socioeconomic turmoil across the global map have prompted nations, both developed and developing, to expand their military arsenal with missiles constituting a significant part of that inventory.  
Being one of the major missile makers in the United States, Lockheed Martin stands out among its peers by virtue of its broadly-diversified programs and strong order bookings. In second-quarter 2018, revenues at its Missiles and Fire Control unit, increased a solid 16.9% year over year, driven by increased volume on air and missile defense programs. We may expect a consistent order flow from Pentagon, like the latest one, to enable the company’s missile business unit to generate similar top-line growth in coming days.

Meanwhile, toward the end of June 2018, the U.S. Senate approved the fiscal 2019 defense budget that provisions for major war fighting investments worth $4.6 billion in Preferred Munitions. In particular, the budget includes an investment plan of $300 million for Lockheed Martin’s 1,121 Joint Air-to-Ground missiles, witnessing a 50% rise in investments compared to the fiscal 2018 defense budget. No doubt, such a flamboyant budgetary revision would expand the profit margin of Pentagon’s largest defense contractor.

Price Movement    

Lockheed Martin’s stock has improved about only 6.1% in the last year compared with the industry’s growth of 21.3%. The underperformance may have been caused by the intense competition that the company faces in the
aerospace-defense space for its broad portfolio of products and services, both domestically as well as internationally.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Lockheed Martin currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings AJRD, Engility Holdings EGL and Huntington Ingalls Industries HII.

While Aerojet Rocketdyne sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Huntington Ingalls and Engility carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Aerojet Rocketdyne came up with an average positive earnings surprise of 9.27% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings has risen 30.9% to $1.27 in the last 90 days.

Engility Holdings delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 19% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings has moved up 16.1% to $2.02 in the last 90 days.

Huntington Ingalls pulled off an average positive earnings surprise of 9.48% for the trailing four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings has moved 6.4% north to $17.24 in the last 90 days.

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