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Last week most of the defense companies recovered from a poor showing in the prior week. Although budget issues will continue to plague these stocks for some time to come, defense biggies successfully won small contracts to keep their order books ticking. Some big moves were also made keeping investors in good humor and ensuring gains for the overall sector.

Among the important updates last week, United Technologies Corp.’s (UTX - Analyst Report) two business units – Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft – grabbed most of the limelight. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC - Analyst Report) enhanced dividend. The Boeing Company (BA - Analyst Report) was beaming with confidence at its annual shareholders’ meeting and reaffirmed its guidance on both lines (see last to last week’s recap here: Defense Stock Roundup for May 20, 2014).

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1.    Pratt & Whitney, one of the operating segments of diversified business conglomerate United Technologies, has signed long-term agreements worth $10 billion with over 90 suppliers across the globe (read more: Pratt & Whitney Pens $10B in Deals).

2.    Again, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies, won a $143.4 million contract modification to provide 13 more Black Hawk helicopters to the U.S. Army. Sikorsky is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of military and commercial helicopters. It also provides aftermarket helicopter and aircraft parts and services for its parent company United Technologies.

3.    Defense major Raytheon Co. (RTN - Analyst Report) got a U.S. naval contract, worth $115.5 million, for the MK15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (read more: Raytheon Seals $115.5M Naval Deal).

4.    The board of directors of Northrop Grumman boosted its annual dividend by 15.0%, marking the 11th consecutive annual increase (read more: Northrop Returns More to Shareholders).

5.    Aerospace behemoth Boeing made no change to its 2014 earnings and revenue guidance which still stand at earnings of $7.15–$7.35 on revenues of $87.5–$90.5 billion. The company is focused on improving its margins and sees core operating margins of around 9.5% for 2014. Sitting on a defense backlog of $67 billion, Boeing reaffirmed its operating cash flow projection of $7 billion for the year and sees significant opportunities to add to backlog.

Performance

Last week, shares of all defense biggies were in the green save Textron Inc. (TXT - Analyst Report). The biggest gainer was L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL - Analyst Report), up 2.83% over the time frame. In the past 6 months, General Dynamics has led the way, with Textron coming in a close second. The following table shows the price movement of the major defense players over the past 5 trading days and during the last 6 months:
 

Company

Last Week

Last 6 months

LMT

+ 0.44%

+ 15.02%

BA

+2.05%

-0.06%

GD

+1.88%

+26.94%

RTN

+1.59%

+9.18%

NOC

+0.64%

+6.65%

COL

+0.14%

+6.20%

TXT

-0.26%

+17.39%

LLL

+2.83%

+14.47%


What’s Next in the Defense World?

We expect the ongoing flat-to-bearish trend to persist in defense stocks in the coming days as well.

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