Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT - Free Report) Aeronautics unit has secured a $68.9-million contract to conduct the Mission Data (MD) programming and reprogramming mission for the F-35 Digital Channelized Receiver/Technique Generator and Tuner Insertion Program (DTIP), and other non-DTIP configurations. Per the deal, this defense contractor will design, develop, integrate and test the upgrades related to the mission.
The contract has been awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. Work related to the deal will be majorly executed in Fort Worth, TX. The rest would be executed in Baltimore, MD; and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The entire task is scheduled to complete in May 2021.
The U.S. defense budget for fiscal 2019 provisioned for a spending plan of $21.7 billion on aircraft. The budget specifically included an allotment of $10.7 billion for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program. Such budgetary provisions should usher in more contract wins for the F-35 program and its associated upgrades from the Pentagon. The latest contract win is an example of that. Such contract wins are likely to boost the company’s profit margin in the future.
Moreover, production of F-35 is expected to rise in the years ahead, given the U.S. government’s current inventory objective of 2,456 aircraft for the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Navy. Notably, the requirement for conducting and configuring Mission Data programming/reprogramming for the F-35 is also likely to increase significantly. Thus, Lockheed Martin is expected to acquire major contracts related to F-35’s data programming like the latest one.
Lockheed Martin’s stock has decreased 14.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 4.6%. The underperformance may have been caused due to the intense competition that the company faces in the aerospace-defense space for its broad portfolio of products and services, both domestically and internationally.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Lockheed Martin currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked companies in the same sector are AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV - Free Report) , The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) and Heico Corporation (HEI - Free Report) .
While AeroVironment and Boeing currently sport a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), Heico 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 the company’s earnings in fiscal 2019 has increased 33.3% to $1.48 in the past 90 days.
Boeing came up with average positive earnings surprise of 28.01% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings in 2019 has increased 4.53% to $18.22 in the past 90 days.
Heico’s long-term growth rate for the next five years currently stands at 12.10%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings in 2019 has increased 4.00% to $2.08 in the past 90 days.
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