CORAL GABLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / April 24, 2019 / On an almost daily basis, news coverage shows us that we are living constantly at risk. In 2019, there have already been over 80 US mass shootings. On top of this, we've already witnessed more than 2,400 of these incidents since 2013. Prevention of these threats has become the key focus of a number of public companies. To the excitement of investors, growth is clearly on the horizon.
This month, some of the top defensive names topped earnings estimates. This alone could be a clear signal that this will be the industry to watch in 2019.
Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) (Market Cap: $93.625B) saw a flurry of upgrades and increased price targets this week. Thanks to stronger than expected earnings, the defense stock rallied to price levels it hadn't seen since last October. Shares of Lockheed are up by nearly 30% this year already, thanks to corporate growth and upbeat guidance.
Lockheed has also been closing on significant contracts. The company announced that it received a contract worth $362 million to recapitalize 50 of the U.S. Army's Multiple Launch Rocket System launchers. "This investment to upgrade the MLRS launcher fleet reflects our customers continued confidence in our ability to provide a combat-proven precision strike system from the ground up," said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
General Dynamics Corporation (GD) (Market Cap: $52.885B) also climbed after topping earnings. Analysts were expecting the company to report revenue of $8.89 billion and earnings of $2.38 per share. The Falls Church, Virginia-based company reported first-quarter earnings of $745 million, or $2.56 per share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $9.26 billion.
Higher deliveries of the company's Gulfstream jets helped General Dynamics beat Wall Street estimates. During the quarter, General Dynamics was also awarded a $2 billion contract for materials to build Virginia-class fast attack submarines for the U.S. Navy.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) (Market Cap: $48.056B) followed suit with other industry comps mentioned above. The defense company far exceeded industry estimates for its quarterly results. Net awards to Northrop Grumman totaled $12.3 billion during the quarter. Some of the key highlights also include $3.2 billion for restricted space, $1 billion for submarine subsystems production and $805 million for F-35 production, among other contracts, the company said.
Where analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $4.59 a share Northrop Grumman went above and beyond. The company said it earned $863 million, or $5.06 a share, compared with $840 million, or $4.79 a share, in the comparable year-earlier quarter.
Liberty Defense Holdings (SCAN.V) (Market Cap: $60.583M) is a newer entrant to the industry. The company rang the opening bell on the Toronto Stock Exchange earlier this month. Liberty is a concealed weapon detection solutions company. Most recently the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to beta test its HEXWAVE product with Toney Sleiman of Sleiman Enterprises.
Toney Sleiman is President of Sleiman Enterprises, one of Florida's largest privately held real estate companies. The company develops and manages more than 150 shopping centers throughout Southeast Georgia with a footprint of over 5 million square feet of retail space.
As a part of the product development process for HEXWAVE, Liberty plans to incrementally test the system in actual facilities to ensure that it is aligned to market requirements. Though the company is new to the public arena, it has already begun to roll out a strong growth strategy. In addition to the proposed deal with Sleiman, Liberty has announced that it has other MOU's in place to beta test its technology.
This includes an MOU with the Vancouver Arena Limited Partnership which hosts events such as NHL hockey games and most of the largest concerts and shows in Vancouver. The company has an exclusive license from MIT Lincoln Laboratory as well as a technology transfer agreement, for patents related to active 3D imaging technology that is packaged into the HEXWAVE product.
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