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Boeing Secures $97M Deal to Support Apache Aircraft Program

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The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) recently secured a modification contract to provide integrated logistics support, product assurance and Longbow Crew Trainers for Apache aircraft. Work related to the deal is scheduled to be completed by Dec 31, 2024.

Valued at $96.9 million, the contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Boeing will carry out the task in Mesa, AZ.

A Brief Note on AH-64

Boeing’s AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. It is used by the U.S. Army and growing number of international defense forces. Notably, AH-64E is the latest version of the AH-64 gunship, equipped with new sensors, avionics and improved night operation capabilities. It also has infra-red suppressing exhaust system as well as chaff and flare dispensers, which together lowers the chances of being hit by enemy air defense missiles.

Rationale Behind the Deal

Over the last couple of years, the U.S. Aerospace and Defense space has been witnessing a solid growth, courtesy of President Trump’s decision to discard his predecessor’s budget sequestration policy. This, in turn, ushered in a golden era for prominent defense contractors like Boeing, which have been witnessing a decent uptick in order growth for their valued military weapons, ever since.

Additionally, America’s rocky cross border relationship with North Korea compelled both the nations to frequently conduct counter missile testing operations for the most part of 2017. Also, the United States’ hostile stance toward Russia as well as its consistent trade wars with China has remained some of the prime highlights pertaining to defense stocks.

In the wake of such developments, the United States has significantly enhanced its surveillance, and the combat-proven helicopters play a crucial role in it. In this regard, Boeing’s contribution toward strengthening the nation’s aerospace surveillance system is worth mentioning. Notably, the company’s defense unit manufactures military helicopters besides offering a wide variety of related technical expertise, system upgrades and maintenance services. Such expertise must have allowed the company to win contracts like the latest one.

Looking Ahead

Per a report by MarketWatch, the global military helicopter market is expected to witness a CAGR of 8.4% from 2018 to 2023. Such growth can be attributed to the need for replacing aging fleets and enhancement of capabilities pertaining to disaster relief operations.

Also, increasing geopolitical tensions across the world have prompted developing nations to effectively increase their defense budget. As a result, the profit margin of prominent helicopter-makers like Boeing, Lockheed Martin (LMT - Free Report) and Textron (TXT - Free Report) is anticipated to expand in the coming days.

Price Performance

In a year’s time, Boeing has gained 1.6% compared with the industry’s 5.7% growth.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks
 
Boeing currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the same space is General Dynamics Corp. (GD - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

General Dynamics delivered average positive earnings surprise of 7.33% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings has increased 0.3% to $11.76 over the past 90 days.
 
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