Back to top

Image: Bigstock

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

Read MoreHide Full Article

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

Passively managed ETFs are becoming increasingly popular with institutional as well as retail investors due to their low cost, transparency, flexibility and tax efficiency. They are excellent vehicles for long term investors.

Sector ETFs are also funds of convenience, offering many 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 15, placing it in bottom 6%.

Index Details

The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $3.71 billion, making it one of the largest 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 0.39%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.78%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Industrials sector--about 99.50% of the portfolio.

Looking at individual holdings, Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX - Free Report) accounts for about 22.65% of total assets, followed by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT - Free Report) and Boeing (BA - Free Report) .

The top 10 holdings account for about 75.12% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -3.50% so far this year and is down about -3.05% in the last one year (as of 09/16/2022). In that past 52-week period, it has traded between $93.66 and $112.95.

The ETF has a beta of 1.03 and standard deviation of 32.28% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 40 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.


IShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, ITA is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Industrials ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.

SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR - Free Report) tracks S&P Aerospace & Defense Select Industry Index and the Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF (PPA - Free Report) tracks SPADE Defense Index. SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF has $1.25 billion in assets, Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF has $1.40 billion. XAR has an expense ratio of 0.35% and PPA charges 0.61%.

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