The US Defense Industry’s Small-Mid Size Sweet Spot
Andrew Leckey has some interesting observations about the US defense industry as a whole right now. The hot tickets, he says, are information technology, communication, and high-tech equipment designed to assist soldiers in the field. These trends have helped drive recent acquisitions of defense IT firms (CACI International Inc. – Information Systems Support Inc.; General Dynamics – Anteon International Corp.; L-3 – Titan; Lockheed Martin – Aspen Systems Corp.; ManTech – Gray Hawk; et. al.).
He also quotes some analysts who see the small-mid cap defense technology companies outperforming large caps throughout the whole cycle of upturns and downturns in defense spending. Acquisitions drive that, too, and are are driven in turn by US government procurement policies. Some create set-asides for small businesses, which drives the consistent formation of new companies. These set asides also encourage cooperation with larger defense firms via strategic partnering, which is given a further boost by contract vehicles like NetCents. These smaller firms may get bought by larger firms in time, and so the cycle continues. Additional thoughts on key sectors, stocks to watch, and industry performance can be found in the article itself: “Tech Firms Big Guns In Defense Sector” (defunct) | FindArticles.com version | RedOrbot version.
UPDATE: The acquisition trend has continued; between the March 2005 selection of firms eligible to compete for the $20 billion ITES-2 contract, and its final resolution of awards in November 2006, 3 of the 17 firms on the original short list had been acquired by larger firms.