strong third quarter on the back of its defense business, which has helped buoy the company following a collapse in demand for its construction-equipment segments amid the recession. Known as MRAPs (short for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), the trucks were specifically designed to withstand the kinds of homemade bombs, or improvised explosive devices, used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. To deal with the latter's mountainous terrain, the Oshkosh version of the MRAP is lighter and has a more heavy-duty suspension system than the MRAPs used in Iraq.
In August, Oshkosh won another multi-billion-dollar contract to produce a different kind of heavy truck under a separate military program. Oshkosh beat out its competitors by underbidding, and the incumbent contractor, the UK's BAE Systems, and a third losing bidder, Navistar ( NAV), have both since filed a series of formal protests with the U.S. Government Accountability Office over the U.S. Army's choice of Oshkosh. BAE has argued that its offer represented the lowest risk, since Oshkosh was new to this business and therefore lacked such things as relationships with suppliers. Oshkosh received a stop-work order from the Army in September and awaits a decision by the GAO next month. Oshkosh shares, which opened higher Wednesday morning by about 2% to $39.69, have soared since the award was announced. Year-to-date, the stock has gained nearly 340%. -- Written by Scott Eden in New York Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.