A contract setback slowed the Force Protection ( FRPT) express Monday.

Shares in the South Carolina-based defense contractor dropped 5% on disappointing news about a key contract award. The company's shares, which have risen 30-fold over the last year and were racing toward $25 less than two weeks ago, tumbled 99 cents early Monday to $19.15.

The latest slide came after the Marines selected Force Protection as just one of many companies to supply the military with blast-resistant vehicles. Force Protection fans had hoped that the company would snag most of that business for itself. Meanwhile, the company's top executives have been selling stock at a startling rate.

For now, Force Protection has been asked to supply the military with a handful of its vehicles, which will be tested before any significant orders are placed. The company hopes to sell the military thousands of its Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicles going forward.

Some much larger players -- such as Textron ( TXT), Oshkosh ( OSK) and Armor Holdings ( AH) -- are competing for that business as well. But Force Protection has partnered with a heavyweight of its own, Virginia-based General Dynamics ( GD), in an effort to boost its chances. Fans remain upbeat about the company's prospects as a result.

Indeed, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Chris Donaghey kept promoting Force Protection even after the company's recent setback. He has a buy recommendation and a $31 price target on Force Protection's stock. His firm has business ties to the company.

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