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Erickson-Air Crane Inc. (EAC - Snapshot Report) received a modification contract from the Helicopter Transport Services for adjustments and modernization of seven CH54B tail boom and pylon assemblies. The contract is valued at $1.5 million.

With advanced engineering and technical work currently underway, Erickson Air’s upgrade task will help increase the lifespan of the helicopter components. The latest contract bears evidence of the company’s technological expertise in the fields of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).

Erickson Air’s efforts to upgrade its technological skills have fetched sizeable contract renewal wins. In the last three months, the company secured a total of four renewal contracts including the current one.

Erickson-Air’s diversified nature of operations has also proved to be a key catalyst. From transport to the energy sector, the company has successfully expanded its operations in the U.S. as well as in the international market. The recent purchase of HRT Participações em Petróleo S.A.’s Air Amazonia will unlock significant growth prospects for Erickson-Air in the emerging South American markets.

Furthermore, the buyout of Evergreen Helicopters from Evergreen International Aviation, Inc. also helped in bringing contracts for the company – the most lofty being the $100 million contract extension with Fluor Corp. for offering multiple rotary wing aircraft for cargo as well as transport mission requirements for aiding forces in Afghanistan.

The back-to-back acquisitions will somewhat counter the company’s low-priced intermittent defense contract flows. Nevertheless, the budget sequestration will continue to remain an overhang on major defense players.

At the moment Erickson Air carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other defense industry operators worth considering are Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report), General Dynamics Corp. (GD - Analyst Report) and Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC - Analyst Report).

Based in Portland, OR, Erickson Air Crane manufactures and operates Erickson S-64 Air crane (S-64) heavy-lift helicopters and has a market capitalization of $146.48 million.

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