Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Should You Invest in the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA)?

Read MoreHide Full Article

Designed to provide broad exposure to the Industrials - Aerospace & Defense segment of the equity market, the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA - Free Report) is a passively managed exchange traded fund launched on 05/01/2006.

While an excellent vehicle for long term investors, passively managed ETFs are a popular choice among institutional and retail investors due to their low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency.

Additionally, sector ETFs offer convenient ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Industrials - Aerospace & Defense is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 13, placing it in bottom 19%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $2.58 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Industrials - Aerospace & Defense segment of the equity market. ITA seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index before fees and expenses.

The Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index measures the performance of the aerospace and defense sector of the U.S. equity market.


When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor, and cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.42%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.85%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund's holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Industrials sector--about 94.20% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX - Free Report) accounts for about 19.29% of total assets, followed by Boeing (BA - Free Report) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 74.50% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has added roughly 15.67% so far this year and is up about 40.86% in the last one year (as of 10/29/2021). In that past 52-week period, it has traded between $75.52 and $112.90.

The ETF has a beta of 1.26 and standard deviation of 31.53% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 38 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.


IShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF holds a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Because of this, ITA is a great option for investors seeking exposure to the Industrials ETFs segment of the market. There are other additional ETFs in the space that investors could consider as well.

Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF (PPA - Free Report) tracks SPADE Defense Index and the SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR - Free Report) tracks S&P Aerospace & Defense Select Industry Index. Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF has $677.32 million in assets, SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF has $1.19 billion. PPA has an expense ratio of 0.59% and XAR charges 0.35%.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

Published in