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L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL - Free Report) through its Global Security Solutions (GSS) division received a contract of around $50.9 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on Apr 14, 2014. L-3 Communications, one of the leading defense players, have lately been winning a number of DoD contracts on the back of its technological advancements.

Per the latest contract, L-3 GSS will supply Automated Installation Entry hardware and software for up to 35 military installations. However, the company and the DoD did not provide any information related to the work location. The program is scheduled to complete by Apr 13, 2018.

During the first quarter of 2014, the company received several contracts from the DoD. Its Coleman Aerospace business received a contract, with an initial value of $73 million, to provide Medium-Range Ballistic Missile target vehicles for the DoD’s Missile Defense Agency. This also has an option of more than $400 million over the next five years.

Apart from the strong domestic market, the company continues to focus on its overseas business. During the fourth quarter 2013, the company extended its international and commercial businesses. Its international and commercial sales increased 8% year over year in the fourth quarter 2013, and represented about 30% of its consolidated net sales (up from 25% last year).

The company ended 2013 with earnings of $8.54 per share surpassing the guidance of $8.25 to $8.35 per share. The strong performance was driven by its program execution capability, cost cutting programs, added to strong international and commercial orders. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 is $8.40, above the company’s guidance range of $8.15 to $8.35 per share.

Currently, L-3 Communications holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other defense players to look out for include Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (HII - Free Report) , General Dynamics Corp. (GD - Free Report) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Free Report) . While Huntington Ingalls holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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