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TheStreet Open House

One of the Big Four Defense Stocks Is Priced to Buy

Stocks in this article: BANOCRTNLMT

By comparison, Boeing, which hit its 52-week high of $99.47 on Wednesday, May 22, has a P/E ratio of 18.5. Yet its price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio (5-year expected) is slightly more than 1, which gives the impression that BA may be undervalued. Go figure!

Boeing not only has a healthy defense business, but it also has a lucrative commercial aviation business. Its 787 Dreamliner has been in the news lately due to a host of technical and mechanical issues, but United Continental (UAL), the only U.S. carrier using the plane, resumed 787 flights Monday.

The 2-hour 20-minute flight from Houston to Chicago went smoothly, with two prominent passengers riding in economy class to underscore their confidence in the plane's safety: United Continental CEO Jeff Smisek and Boeing CEO Jim McNerney.


Raytheon makes electronics and integrates mission systems. It's also the world's largest producer of guided missiles.

Think of it as the company that makes the "brains" and the operating systems for a wide variety of sophisticated surveillance, monitoring, simulation and weaponry systems that many nations rely upon. It has been in the news lately, having been awarded some lucrative government contracts.

Two big news releases from RTN's easy-to-navigate Web site bode well for the company and for investors.

Raytheon, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, received "full-rate" approval from a Defense Acquisition Board for production of RTN's Standard Missile-6 (SM-6).

This is what I'd call a big-ticket item, but the press release didn't disclose the costs of purchasing the SM-6 or how many the Defense Dept. will be purchasing.

My best guess is the government ordered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the SM-6, and I base that on RTN's own response to the "full-rate" approval.

"SM-6 is a game-changing, transformational fleet defense missile, and we're on track to reach initial operating capability this year," said Wes Kremer, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems. "This is a monumental moment for the SM-6 program and signifies a new era of fleet defense for our naval warfighters."

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