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Watch for Lockheed Martin's Overseas Growth

Stocks in this article: LMTRTN



That would still leave the company behind its main competitors including Raytheon (RTN), which supposedly gets between 25% and 30% of its sales from its international operations. RTN shares trade for about $88 and has a dividend yield-to-price of only 2.5%. At the end of its third quarter 2013 it had revenue (TTM) of almost $24.3 billion, an operating margin of 12.24% but a rather dismal ROE of only 21.4%.

LMT's new CEO, Marillyn Hewson, who took over the top post earlier this year, is a 30-year veteran of this industry. She has visited the Middle East three times since taking the leadership of the world's biggest defense contractor because she evidently knows the strategic importance of the company's customers and potential customers in that region of the world.

CEO Hewson was on hand to attend the Dubai Airshow because the Persian Gulf countries are most interested in buying Lockheed's advanced, radar-evasive F-35, as well as other fighter jets it manufacturers. Then there's the lure of LMT's cyber security and intelligence systems, a crucial aspect of a complete air defense system for each country's national security.

LMT is still getting business at home in spite of government spending cuts. On Monday the U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed more than $200 million in contract options to complete production of its fifth and sixth next-generation Global Positioning System satellites, known as GPS III.

Earlier in February, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a fixed price $120 million contract to procure long lead parts for a second set of four GPS III space vehicles.

This new award provides funding to complete the first two satellites (SV 05-06) in this order. Full production funding for the next two space vehicles (SV 07-08) is expected in 2014. Lockheed Martin is already under contract to produce four GPS III space vehicles (SV 01-04). The first two GPS III satellites are currently on the production floor at Lockheed Martin's GPS III Processing Facility (GPF) in Denver, Colo. To remind us of LMT's focus on its international business expansion the company announced on Wednesday that in cooperation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan it delivered the first F-2 aft and leading edge flaps as part of a restoration plan to replenish Japan's F-2 fleet.

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