Antonio Alonso, Kapitall: The Government is still shut down and almost all of NASA is on furlough. But are there still space stocks worth considering?
NASA has over 100 companies providing services to help it get us to the Moon and protect us from E.T.’s less friendly cousins. However even with one their biggest accounts on furlough, it's important to note that not all of these contractors are down since Tuesday. The government will eventually come back and when it does, the stars will once again be within reach.
[Read more on aerospace from Kapitall: Boeing Stock Takes off With New Defense Contracts]
Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) are the two biggest NASA contractors and both companies have struggled since the shutdown. Each company is down about 0.5% and 4.5%, respectively.
On the other hand, there's Navistar International Corporation (NAV)
which is actually up almost 2% for the week. Year-to-date, the heavy vehicle maker is up almost 80% and seems to be bouncing off a support level
. The company is one of NASA’s larger contractors which could benefit investors looking to profit from the next frontier.
Another heavy vehicle producer, Oshkosh Corporation (OSK)
is up almost 5% on the week. The company recently traded to a new 52-week high in part because it is diversified beyond NASA into the economy at large. The company also recently won a military contract
that is sure to provide it with a nice revenue stream.
To move away from vehicle manufacturers, Fluor Corporation (FLR)
provides a number of services to the government including NASA. The company’s operations are well diversified and it has recently won a contract
from Chevron Phillips and the company’s strong cash account could be a lure for investors.
Humana Inc. (HUM)
is a managed health care company that also benefits from space dollars. The company has ranked as high 18th in a list of the biggest NASA contractors. The company has also recently announced a partnership with CVS
aiming to educate consumers on insurance options as the new Affordable Care Act is rolled out.
Last but certainly not least, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)
is another possibility for investors looking to get into NASA. The company recently signed a contract
with the US Navy’s SPAWAR organization. The company maintains a great relationship with the government and gets contracts easily, but increasing competition from other firms do present some risk.
Overall, the government shutdown doesn’t mean NASA contractors will be going out of business. Most companies have independent operations with the government contracts acting as a compliment. The firms mentioned could be a great way for investors to get into the space industry while possibly also managing their risk exposure.
Click on the interactive chart below to see data over time.
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): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, sale, and support of commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide. Market cap at $87.74B, most recent closing price at $115.24.