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Lockheed Martin Wins $53M Satellite Operations Support Deal

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Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT - Free Report) recently secured a $52.7-million modification contract for providing engineering, development and sustainment services to support the Air Force Multi-Mission Satellite Operation Center. The contract has been awarded by the Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirkland Air Force Base, NM.

Details of the Deal

Per the terms, Lockheed Martin will provide continuous technical services to operate on experimental and demonstration satellites, act as the focal point for Department of Defense’s experimental space and missile operations, and further support and evaluate space and missile research.

Work related to the deal will be executed in Kirkland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM.

What Favors Lockheed Martin?

With increasing number of threats in the cyber security space, military satellites have emerged as an integral component for strengthening national security. To enhance defense capabilities, the United States has been making major investments in such satellites. This is evident from the fiscal 2019 defense budget that provisioned for space investment worth $4.3 billion to strengthen the nation’s space capabilities, including satellites.

In fact, the second half of 2018 witnessed Lockheed Martin acquire some major contracts related to satellites and space systems. In August, the company secured an initial $2.9-billion reward from U.S. Air Force for 3 next- generation missile warning satellites. In September, Lockheed Martin clinched a $7.2-billion contract for the construction of 22 next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellites. Anticipating such a solid inflow of contracts to continue from Pentagon, Lockheed Martin increased its 2018 sales outlook for its Space Systems segment by $350 million.

Considering America’s expansionary budgetary reform for its defense space in the backdrop of enhanced geopolitical uncertainties hampering global peace, we may expect more such contracts to usher in for Lockheed Martin, going ahead.

Price Movement

Lockheed Martin’s stock has declined 17.1% in the past year compared with the industry’s fall of 7.6%. The underperformance may have been caused by the intense competition the company faces in the aerospace-defense space for its broad portfolio of products and services, both domestically and internationally.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Lockheed Martin currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

A few top-ranked companies in the same sector are AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV - Free Report) , Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (TDY - Free Report) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Free Report) .

While AeroVironment and Teledyne Technologies sport a Zacks Rank #1, Northrop Grumman carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

AeroVironment came up with average positive earnings surprise of 257.01% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2019 earnings has increased 33.3% to $1.48 in the past 90 days.

Teledyne Technologies came up with average positive earnings surprise of 12.92% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings has increased 5.26% to $9.00 in the past 90 days.

Northrop Grumman delivered average positive earnings surprise of 28.01% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings has moved up 3.53% to $18.44 in the past 60 days.

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