Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) is the global leader in defense-related products. Formed after a merger of Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta in 1995, the company's largest customer is the U.S. government, which represents 80% of net sales. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the company employs more than 100,000 workers and generates over $50 billion in revenue annually.

Lockheed Martin makes the F-35 fighter jet, with the U.S. government being the largest contract. Several other countries have also lined up to place orders. On June 19, 2017, Reuters reported that Lockheed reached a $37 billion deal with 11 different countries (including the U.S.) for sales of 444 F-35 fighter jets. In late August of that year, it was clear that it had won bids worth more than $427 million with the U.S. government.

Key Takeaways

  • Lockheed Martin is a defense company with substantial contracts with the U.S. military.
  • 80% of Lockheed's revenue comes from the U.S. government.
  • In addition to fighter jets, the company makes cargo jets, hypersonic missiles that travel one mile per second, and space capsules for NASA.
  • Lockheed's main competitors include Boeing, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, and Raytheon.

Beyond fighter jets, Lockheed Martin is also experiencing increased orders for its C-130 cargo planes. With its $9 billion purchase of Sikorsky Aircraft from United Technologies Corporation (UTX) in 2015, Lockheed Martin also witnessed an increase in sales of its Black Hawk helicopters. In 2018, it received two large orders ($928 million and $480 million) for hypersonic missiles from the Air Force. It received a $44.6 billion order for Orion space capsules from NASA in 2019.

Lockheed Martin competes with several other aerospace and defense companies at home and abroad.

Boeing Company

Boeing Company (BA) generates more than twice Lockheed Martin's revenue, but only about one-third comes from defense contracts. The century-old aerospace company is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial and government aircraft. It is also heavily involved in advanced technology solutions for defense, space, and national security. On the defense side, it manufactures fighter jets, helicopters, and the B-52 bomber.

BAE Systems Plc.

BAE Systems Plc. (BA.L) is a British defense contractor that generates more than $20 billion in annual revenue, of which the vast majority comes from defense contracts. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of naval ships and submarines for governments around the world. It produces military aircraft and guided weapons systems as well. 

Raytheon Co.

As the world’s largest missile builder, Raytheon Co. (RTN) is the biggest beneficiary of increased tensions around the world. Countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe are ramping up their defenses with Raytheon’s Patriot missile system, but domestic sales are growing as well. The company also builds a variety of other types of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and surface-to-surface missiles.

General Dynamics Corporation

General Dynamics Corporation’s (GD) history dates back to the late 19th century as a naval producer for the United States and a variety of other countries. The company is considered a diversified manufacturer of defense systems, technology, aircraft, and marine systems. Although it stopped production of F-16 jet fighters, the company's fighter-bomber is still considered the workhorse of air forces around the world. The company is also one of the largest contractors for the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine and Zumwalt-class destroyers.