Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) is the global leader in defense-related products with $47.3 billion revenue from military contracts throughout the world, in 2016. Its largest customer was the U.S. Government, from which 80% of net sales stemmed from. Lockheed Martin experienced an impressive growth of 16.6% increase in year-over-year revenue, and a whopping increase in net earnings of 47%, to $5.30 billion. The largest area of growth, despite significant pressure from the Trump administration to reduce cost (See also: Lockheed Tells Trump It Will Cut F-35 Costs).
Lockheed Martin’s highest profile product is the F-35 fighter jet, which the U.S. Government being the largest contract. Several countries are lined up to place their orders. On June 19, 2017, Reuters reported that Lockheed was nearing a $37 billion deal with 11 different countries (including the U.S.) for sales of 444 F-35 fighet jets. In late August it was clear that it had won bids worth more than $427 million with the U.S. government.
The company is also experiencing increased orders for its C-130 cargo planes. With its $9 billion purchase of Sikorsky Aircraft from United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTC) in 2015, Lockheed Martin expects an increase in sales of its Black Hawk helicopters. All told, the company expects both higher revenue and earnings in 2017.
As of October, 2017, Lockheed Martin’s stock was trading just north of $320 a share, putting its market capitalization close to $92 billion.
Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) generates more than twice the 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. Boeing’s 2016 revenue of $94.6 billion was a decrease of 1.6% compared to the prior year.
The stock traded at $262.58 on October 23, 2017, giving it a market capitalization of $155.28 billion.
BAE Systems Plc.
BAE Systems Plc. (BA.L) is a British defense contractor that generated £17.8 billion (about $22.7 billion) of revenue in 2016, of which the vast majority came from defense contracts. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of naval ships and submarines for governments around the world. It also produces military aircraft and guided weapons systems.
BAE Systems’ stock traded at £599.5 as of October 23, 2017, and its market capitalization was £19.12 billion.
As the world’s largest missile builder, Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) is the biggest beneficiary of increased tensions around the world. Its 2016 revenue of $24.1 billion was a 3.5% increase over the prior year, and the best growth year since 2009. Countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe are ramping up their defenses with Raytheon’s Patriot missile system, but domestic sales also grew for the first time in seven years.
On October 23, 2017, Raytheon’s stock traded at $189, and its market share was $54.89 billion.
General Dynamics Corporation
General Dynamics Corporation’s (NYSE: GD) history dates back to the late 19th century as a naval producer for the United States and a variety of other countries. In 2016, the company generated $31.4 billion in revenue, with a gross margin of 13.7%. General Dynamics is a diversified manufacturer of defense systems, technology, aircraft and marine systems. Although the company has stopped production of F-16 jet fighters, the fighter-bomber is still considered the workhorse of air forces around the world. The company is one of the largest contractors for the Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine and Zumwalt-class destroyers.
As of October 23, 2017, General Dynamic’s stock was trading at $212 per share, and its market capitalization was $63.66 billion.