To read a recent item on Lockheed by Jim Cramer, click here.
President Barack Obama is touting the $787 billion economic stimulus bill as a way to get America working again largely through "shovel-ready" projects. But don't overlook defense company
, Colorado's largest utility, as "green" beneficiaries of the plan.
Lockheed, in partnership with Starwood Energy Group, broke ground two months ago on a New Jersey facility to test forms of solar technology with the goal of producing advanced utility-scale technology, which falls in line with the stimulus plan's alternative-energy targets.
The stimulus bill dedicates about $20 billion to the development and construction of green technology and infrastructure, such as "smart"-grid technology and ecologically friendly power plants. While it is unclear whether the money will come in the form of tax credits or direct government projects, Lockheed would gain from either circumstance.
The bill will include a $400 million allotment to create the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which will collaborate with industry to research energy sources and efficiency. Where would it be better to team with industry than at Lockheed's new state-of-the-art solar facility?
With the lack of "shovel-ready" projects a major worry of the bill's detractors, Lockheed's facility, which is scheduled to be completed this spring, could be a quick and effective way to get boots on the ground with a corporation that is no stranger to government projects.
Lockheed is rated "buy" at TheStreet.com Ratings. The company's stock outperformed the
by 18.4% last year and is paying a dividend that is yielding 2.8%. With a return on equity of 50.8% and a cash balance just shy of $2.5 billion, Lockheed presents a solid image of a well-run corporation that would be attractive even without the windfall that may come from the stimulus package.
Stimulus dollars also could bolster Xcel Energy, which is working to convert Boulder, Colo., to its new transmission and metering technology, making it one of the nation's first smart-grid cities.
Like Lockheed, Xcel Energy is rated "buy" at TheStreet.com Ratings. The company's shares outperformed the S&P 500 by double digits last year. Xcel's dividend is yielding 5.27%.
Xcel has recently been granted approval by Colorado to shutter two of its coal-fired plants in favor of opening one of the world's largest solar power plants, which will generate 200 megawatts of concentrated power. Plus, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission gave Xcel approval to create a wind farm at the same site that will generate up to 850 megawatts of power.
Those two projects will create construction jobs and long-term "green-collar" jobs the Obama administration is so keen on. This facility happens to be located in a region that could use the benefits of the stimulus more than most, as Colorado posted the fifth-highest foreclosure rate in the nation last year.
Xcel appears to be taking the bull by the horns and leading the charge into alternative energy with little to no prodding. This early-adoption attitude could pay dividends in the future as competitors try to modernize under the weight of regulations and mandates.
Lockheed and Xcel are solid and stable companies regardless of the benefits of the stimulus package. However, they have become even more attractive with the potential for government aid fueling existing initiatives.
Prior to joining TheStreet.com Ratings, David MacDougall was an analyst at Cambridge Associates, an investment consulting firm, where he worked with private equity and venture capital funds. He graduated cum laude from Northeastern University with a bachelor's degree in finance and is a Level II CFA candidate.