Is Lockheed Martin Still a Safe Investment?
With shares of Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) trading at around $107.05, is LMT an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:
C = Catalyst for the Stock’s Movement
Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor in the world. This will often act as a positive, but times are changing. United States involvement in Afghanistan is winding down, and the Department of Defense has to cut defense spending by $1 trillion over 10 years.
The value of Department of Defense contracts declined 52 percent (to $19 billion) in April compared to March. Bulls will undoubtedly point to consistent contract wins and stock price appreciation, and this very well may continue, but it can’t be denied that there is more reason for caution now than in the past. Even if longs don’t want to listen to financial writers, they should at least pay attention to the actions of company insiders. Insider selling substantially increased in May. Four different officers sold more than one million shares.
With defense cuts becoming a reality, Lockheed Martin has taken the cost-cutting route (mostly layoffs). This has the potential to lead to an improved bottom line, but it won’t lead to improved top-line performance. There are two ways to look at this. On the positive side, an improved bottom line will likely lead to maintained or increased capital to shareholders. On the negative side, declining revenue could lead to reduced guidance in the future and spook investors.
Revenue has steadily increased on an annual basis but declined on a year-over-year and sequential basis last quarter. That being the case, there is no way to put a positive spin on the revenue situation. On the other hand, earnings improved on a year-over-year and sequential basis.
Due to defense spending cuts, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) now have relatively high short positions of 3.10 percent and 4.40 percent, respectively. Boeing (NYSE:BA), on the other hand, only has a short position of 1.10 percent as it doesn’t rely as much on defense spending. However, dividend investors will be more attracted to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Lockheed Martin currently yields 4.30 percent, and Northrop Grumman currently yields 2.90 percent. Boeing currently yields 1.90 percent.
|Operating Cash Flow||3.19B||7.20B||2.75B|
Let’s take a look at some more important numbers prior to forming an opinion on this stock.
T = Technicals Are Strong
Lockheed Martin has underperformed its peers for every time frame listed below, but it has still been a strong performer over the past three years, and as mentioned earlier, it offers the highest yield of the three companies mentioned in this article.
|1 Month||Year-To-Date||1 Year||3 Year|
At $107.05, Lockheed Martin is trading above its averages.
E = Equity to Debt Ratio Is Strong
The debt-to-equity ratio for Lockheed Martin is stronger than the industry average of 0.70.
E = Earnings Have Been Impressive
Earnings have seen some ups and downs over the past several years, but enormous profits have been commonplace. Lockheed Martin even managed to deliver big profits in 2008 and 2009, which was extremely rare.
|Revenue ($) in millions||42,731||45,189||45,803||46,499||47,182|
|Diluted EPS ($)||7.86||7.78||7.94||7.81||8.36|
Looking at the last quarter on a year-over-year basis, revenue declined 2 percent, and earnings improved 13.90 percent.
|Quarter||Mar. 31, 2012||Jun. 30, 2012||Sep. 30, 2012||Dec. 31, 2012||Mar. 31, 2013|
|Revenue ($) in millions||11,293||11,921||11,869||12,099||11,070|
|Diluted EPS ($)||2.03||2.38||2.21||1.73||2.33|
Now let’s take a look at the next page for the Conclusion. Is this stock an OUTPERFORM, a WAIT AND SEE, or a STAY AWAY?
Despite many headwinds, Lockheed Martin is still enjoying upward stock price momentum. It has also performed well in a weak market over the past several days. As always, the trend is your friend. And this isn’t like owning a high-growth tech stock trading at 1,800 times earnings. Rather, Lockheed Martin is trading at just 12 times earnings. Therefore, if the market heads south, Lockheed Martin won’t head south as fast as many other stocks throughout the broader market. There should be ample time for an exit.
For those concerned about defense spending cuts yet still want to be in the space, Boeing should be considered. The demand for Boeing products is through the roof. You can type in the ticker BA in the window above to find articles offering more information.
As far as Lockheed Martin goes, it’s an OUTPERFORM, but based on current circumstances, a set-it-and-forget-it approach isn’t recommended.
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All content posted should not be considered professional advice. Please do your own research and consult with a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions. I don’t have any positions in this stock.