Defense stocks have done well in 2017 and that momentum could certainly continue given our current geopolitical climate. Specifically speaking, Rockwell Collins, Inc. (COL) has done well this year, climbing about 34% so far in 2017. However, some think it's going even higher.

Earlier this month, COL stock spiked from $105 to $125 on rumors of a deal with United Technologies Corporation .

Despite the large move already, Vertical Research analyst Robert Stoddard made the case for an even higher stock price. He upgraded Rockwell to a buy and assigned it a $143 price target. The possibility of an acquisition still exists, he reasoned, adding that the potential for UTX to buy COL can't be ignored.

The $143 price target implies about 15.3% upside from Rockwell Collins' most recent closing price near $124. At that price, Rockwell would be valued at about $23.3 billion, up from its current value of $20.2 billion.

While a deal with United Technologies would be viewed as a win by many, not all companies -- like Boeing Co (BA) - Get Report , for instance -- would likely be happy with the tie-up.

Image placeholder title

More of What's Trending on TheStreet:

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.