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Orbital ATK Wins Order for 2 Additional JPSS Satellites

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Orbital ATK announced that it has received order from NASA for two additional Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) spacecraft which will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Orbital ATK is currently involved in the construction of the JPSS-2 spacecraft. Post the new order, the company will now build three JPSS spacecrafts (JPSS-2, JPSS-3, and JPSS-4) for NASA, which are expected to provide critical weather forecasting data along with advance environmental and oceanographic science. The total contract is valued at about $460 million and is expected to be delivered by 2021, 2023 and 2026, respectively.

Orbital ATK’s Proficiency in Satellites

Orbital ATK, through research and development, has developed LEOStar, GEOStar and ESPAStar spacecraft platforms, which are cost effective and reliable. The new satellites will be built on the LEOStar-3 platform.

Orbital ATK has designed and built more than 80 spacecraft for scientific investigations and defense missions in the last 30 years.

Recently, Orbital ATK completed the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) program for the U.S. Air Force. Orbital ATK’s hosted payload program will utilize the excess resources that exist on a commercial communications satellite to provide frequent and low-cost access to space.

Orbital’s Selection

Orbital ATK has a successful history of providing high-quality products to clients.

The company is incorporating innovative technologies to upgrade the quality of products to meet the requirements of clients. The selection of Orbital ATK by NASA for the next two satellites seems quite logical as the company is presently working on its JPSS-2 satellite.

Orbital ATK’s JPSS-2 program is expected to commence spacecraft integration and testing in summer 2018 in Arizona.

Acquisition Update

Orbital ATK will be acquired by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Free Report) for $9.2 billion. Out of the total amount, Northrop will pay approximately $7.8 billion in cash and the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt. The companies expect the transaction to be closed by the first half of 2018. This acquisition will expand Orbital ATK’s presence in satellite space. Post the news of the acquisition, Orbital ATK’s shares haves rallied significantly.

Rockwell Collins, Inc. is another prominent operator in the same space. The company will be be acquired by United Technologies Corporation (UTX - Free Report) . The transaction is expected to close by the third quarter of 2018.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Orbital ATK has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks  #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of Orbital ATK have returned 33.5% in the last 12 months, outperforming the Zacks Aerospace and Defense Equipment industry’s rally of 29.8%.The impressive performance of the company can be attributed to its diverse product offering.

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