Year to date, shares of defense contractor Raytheon (RTN) - Get Report are up 15.5%. After a post-election pop, the stock has consolidated down a few points. Is this the time to load up on Raytheon before Republicans bust the budget on defense spending and the stock shoots higher without you?
For Raytheon, fiscal 2015 sales were up 31% to $23 billion. About 69% of Raytheon's sales come from the United States government.
Raytheon specializes in electronic warfare, command and control intelligence, missile defense, cyber warfare and precision guided weapons. The company has more than 15,000 contracts that cover 8,000 programs with the Defense Department. Approximately 16% of the company's contracts are classified.
On Oct. 27, Raytheon reported third-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings of $1.79 per share, 15 cents better than the consensus estimate. Revenue rose 4.3% to $6.03 billion. Cash flow from continuing operations ended the quarter at $640 million.
Year to date, Raytheon had a book-to-bill ratio of 1.14. Year to date, booking was $20.3 billion.
International sales are up 7% and are about 32% of total revenue. Domestic sales rose 3%, supported by a 5% increase in classified programs. Revenue for Forcepoint, Raytheon's cybersecurity offering, rose 31% off a small base. Forcepoint is a little over 1% of total revenue, but it is the fastest growing part of the company.
For the year, the missile systems division is expected to grow 9%; space and airborne is expected to grow 4.5%, and integrated defense systems about 4%.
Management expects fiscal 2016 earnings of $7.28 to $7.38 per share. Revenue is expected to be between $24.2 billion and $24.5 billion. Based on the company's guidance, analysts raised estimates and are looking for earnings of $7.46 on $24.43 billion.
The stock is trading around 19 times fiscal 2017 estimates of $7.46. Historically, Raytheon trades between 19 and 22 times forward estimates. If the shares just traded toward the midpoint of the range, or 21 times, I think the stock could reach $160 by this time next year, especially as analysts get a handle on next year's Defense Department budget.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.