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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) dispersed 18 contracts worth $870 million to a number of public and privately traded firms on Sep 18, 2013. Some of the defense players receiving contracts that day included The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report), Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT - Analyst Report), Raytheon Company (RTN - Analyst Report), and BAE Systems plc (BAESY).

Boeing received three contracts worth $212.4 million, which comprised roughly a quarter of the total contract value. Per the first contract worth $172.3 million, the company will provide services on 13 low-rate initial production Lot IV P-8A Poseidon sub-hunting aircraft. The contract runs through Apr 2017. Per the second contract worth $23.6 million, the company will supply eight instrumentation wafer components and support for those components. The contract is expected to be completed by Apr 30, 2016. The final contract entails the repair of various parts on an unspecified number of AV-8 Harrier jump jets for the U.S. Marine Corps. The contract runs through Sep 30, 2015.

Lockheed Martin received a modification contract worth $99 million for the purchase of long lead-time parts, material and components required to build 19 conventional takeoff and landing F-35A stealth fighters for the U.S. Air Force. The contract is scheduled to be completed in Jun 2014.

Raytheon has received a modification contract to carry out an Engineering Analysis on U.S. Army and Air Force AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Missile Systems. This contract worth $10.3 million runs through Mar 2014.

Sequestration and spending cuts were expected to adversely affect the performances of the defense behemoths that explicitly provide products and services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). However, the defense players are doing well despite the fear of Damocles' sword hanging over defense budgets and big-ticket programs. Small contracts doled out by the DoD have kept alive the revenue stream of these companies.

While Lockheed Martin holds a short-term Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Raytheon carries a short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Boeing presently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We also have Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC - Analyst Report) in the space, with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), worth considering.

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