Aerospace and defense major
Lockheed Martin Corporation
) with its wide range of product offering continues to receive
orders from defense establishments across the globe. The
fundamental strength of the company is widely accepted in the
market with its shares gaining nearly 12% from its second quarter
release, closing at $130.84 yesterday.
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Lockheed Martin received a $20 million sustainment contract from
the defense department. Per the contact, Lockheed will continue
to support air, space defense and missile warning missions for
the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Cheyenne
This is the second contract modification to the Integrated Space
Command and Control (ISC2) program awarded in Oct 2012.
Continuous upgrade and coordination of the missile warnings
system has become an integral part of the U.S. defense strategy.
This we believe is in response to the ongoing long range missile
development programs being carried out by various countries with
which the U.S. government does not have friendly relations.
Issuing air defense and missile warning is key to the mission,
warning the President if North America is under attack. Moreover,
the space mission system will also catalog space objects and
perform conjunction assessments to provide manned space flight
safety and protect other key space assets.
Lockheed will support these critical national defense missions at
multiple locations worldwide. Under the ISC2 program all the
regional combatant commands will be brought under a single
strategic command and control system. This will increase the
efficiency of the entire system.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 5.1% to $9.48 per
share as 13 out of 14 estimates were revised higher over the last
60 days. For 2014, 12 out of 16 estimates moved north over the
same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.9% to
$9.60 per share.
Lockheed currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other
well-placed defense operators at the moment are
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Elbit Systems Ltd.
). Northrop has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while Alliant and Elbit
Systems currently retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).