U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 42 mins

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AeroVironment, Textron, Northrop Grumman and FLIR Systems

Zacks Equity Research
Rockwell Automation's (ROK) fiscal 2019 performance will be supported by focus on productivity and favorable macroeconomic indicators despite global trade tensions.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –October 17, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: AeroVironment, Inc. AVAV, Textron Inc. TXT, Northrop Grumman Corporation NOC and FLIR Systems, Inc. FLIR.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

4 Defense Stocks to Buy on Higher Spending Mergers

On Oct 14, military communication equipment providers Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies announced that they are combining in an all-stock merger to create the sixth-largest defense contractor in the United States. Understandably, this is in a move to get a bigger share of President Donald Trump’s increased military spending.

Higher military spending by the U.S. government is making a number of defense contractors go for mergers. Only last month, Trump signed a massive spending package for defense, providing $675 billion to fund military operations in fiscal 2019. Moreover, the defense sector has been performing well amid rising trade tensions. At the same time, rising global conflicts have seen a jump in arms sales. Given this scenario, it makes defense stocks must haves for your portfolio.

Harris, L3 Merger to Make it 6th-Largest Defense Contractor

On Oct 14, Harris and L3 Technologies announced an all-stock merger keeping with the trend of creating bigger companies in order to take advantage of Trump’s increased military spending. The newly formed L3 Harris Technologies will make it the sixth-largest defense contractor in the United States with a market cap of $34 billion.

Increased defense spending is making a larger number of contractors go for mergers so that they have more scale to bid on bigger projects. Moreover, this will also offer a greater competitive edge to the new entity, adding to a flurry of aerospace and defense deals. This comes amid higher military spending by the U.S. government and an increase in jetliner sales.

On Oct 10, TransDigm Group agreed to buy out Esterline Technologies in a $3.6 billion deal. United Technologies is also closing in to complete its acquisition of Rockwell Collins for $23 billion.

Higher Defense Spending to Help Defense Sector

Only last month, Trump signed a huge spending bill for defense, allowing $675 billion to fund military operations in fiscal 2019 on purchase of weapons, aircraft, ships and paying troops. The bill is a $19.8 billion increase from fiscal 2018 and points at Trump’s increased focus on defense spending. Interestingly, this is the first time in a decade that the military received funding on time.

This is giving defense contractors more confidence to consolidate, as this will allow them to greater scale to bid on bigger projects. At the same time, it also proves the underlying strength in the defense sector, which is poised to perform well in the long term.

Our Choices

Higher defense spending is making an increasing number of contractors merge so that they can aim for bigger projects. Understandably, this is in a move to get a bigger share of President Donald Trump’s increased military spending.

This is why picking defense stocks looks like a smart option. However, picking winning stocks may be difficult. We have narrowed down our search to the following stocks based on a good Zacks Rank and other relevant metrics.

AeroVironment, Inc. operates through two segments: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Efficient Energy Systems.

AeroVironment sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has expected earnings growth of 25.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 22.5% over the last 60 days.

Textron Inc. is one of the world's best known multi-industry companies, recognized for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, E-Z-GO, Jacobsen and many more. 

The company has expected earnings growth of 35.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.6% over the last 60 days. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company offering a broad portfolio of capabilities and technologies that enable them to deliver innovative products, systems and solutions for applications that range from undersea to outer space and into cyberspace.

Northrop Grumman a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company has expected earnings growth of 27% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.1% over the last 60 days.

FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness. 

FLIR Systems has a Zacks Rank #2. The company has expected earnings growth of 18.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.9% over the last 60 days.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

support@zacks.com                                      

https://www.zacks.com                                                   

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Textron Inc. (TXT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research