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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman

CHICAGO, Dec. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. Aerospace & Defense, including Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), The Boeing Corporation (NYSE:BA), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC).

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

A synopsis of today's Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at  

Link: http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/89237/aerospace-defense-stock-outlook-dec-2012

The big defense operators armed with strong balance sheets are expanding their operations inorganically through acquisitions. The U.S. Defense department also endorses mergers among U.S. defense companies, provided they don't involve the top five or six suppliers acquiring each other. For that matter, the industry encourages acquisitions as the highest-priority investment area for a company with a sizeable cash balance looking for growth amid significant defense budget cuts.

In fact, the four main strategies to stimulate that growth are joint ventures, foreign military sales, international expansion and mergers and alliances.

Recently, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) announced the acquisition of Chandler/May Inc., an unmanned aerial systems manufacturer. Lockheed Martin's prudent acquisition of Chandler/May would expand its expertise in the design, development, integration, manufacturing and support of fully integrated mission critical systems for unmanned aerial systems ("UAS") and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance ("C4ISR") missions. Lockheed would leverage the expertise of Chandler/May Inc. to carry out the October contract for Coast Guard Super Hercules C4ISR planes.

The Boeing Corporation (NYSE:BA) recently completed the acquisition of Miro Technologies. Miro is a privately held software company that specializes in enterprise asset and supply chain management; MRO services; and Performance-Based Logistics ("PBL") management for government and commercial customers worldwide. This acquisition would bolster the company's defense logistics support strategies. Prior deals made by the company include acquisition of Tapestry Solutions, Federated Software Group, and CDM Technologies.

In December this year, General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) completed the acquisition of Applied Physical Sciences Corp. of Groton, Connecticut. Applied Physical Sciences is a leading provider of applied research and development services. It will become a part of General Dynamics Electric Boat and help in various engineering programs.

Again in December, Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) completed the acquisition of the Government Solutions business of SafeNet Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The need for acquiring a privately held data security firm comes in the light of supporting the U.S. government's growing need for protected and encrypted data. In October 2012, Raytheon had also completed the acquisition of Teligy, Inc. that has improved the company's cybersecurity offerings in wireless communications, vulnerability analysis, reverse engineering and custom kernel software/device driver development.

In September, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) completed the acquisition of M5 Network Security Pty Ltd. Australia-based M5 Network Security is a provider of cybersecurity and secure mobile communications products and services, and advanced analytics to Australian military and intelligence organizations.

These acquisitions help the defense pros in fulfilling task orders and contracts. For instance, in December 2012, Raytheon received a contract to develop new techniques to perform research and develop tools to integrate new and individual facts into existing large information stores. In this case, the company would be helped by the acquisition of SafeNet Inc. The acquired unit would help the company in performing this task order while maintaining its relationship with various customers.

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Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment

Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4581.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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