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Lockheed Martin Gets Lift From F-35, Space Contracts

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Even asLockheed Martin 's ( LMT ) F-35 stealth fighter sets flight-test milestones, the defense contractor is busy securing space contracts.

The Navy on Monday successfully test-launched from a submarine two missiles built by Lockheed. That marked the 150th successful test launch and set a new reliability record for large ballistic missiles, according to the aircraft and defense gear maker.

This week, Lockheed is slated to deliver an F-16 fighter jet to Iraq, the first of 36 the country ordered in 2011 and 2012.

On Monday, the Bethesda, Md.-based company landed a $914.7 million contract from the Department of Defense to track space junk for the U.S. Air Force's Space Fence program. It defeated rivalRaytheon ( RTN ), which had also bid for the contract.

Late last month Lockheed said it's buyingAstrotech 's ( ASTC ) Space Operations business, which provides satellite launch preparation services, for $61 million.

Lockheed, which has paid a quarterly dividend since 1995, announced in April its latest quarterly payout of $1.33 a share. That amounts to $5.32 for the year, or a 3.2% yield, outpacing the S&P 500's 1.88%.

Annual earnings per share have risen the past four years, with analysts expecting a 10% gain this year and 6% in 2015. Its five-year Earnings Stability Factor of 4 on a scale of 0 (most stable) to 99 (least stable) reflects that steady growth.

Sales dipped 4% last year due to sequestration -- government spending cuts -- following five years of low-single-digit gains. Consensus estimates call for a 1% decline this year and next. The defense contractor's sales are heavily dependent on a single customer: The U.S. government accounted for 82% of its revenue in 2012.

The stock has been forming a flat base since Feb. 24, when it marked a new high. The potential buy point is 168.51. Shares soared 61% last year, vs. the S&P 500's 30% gain.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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