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Lockheed Martin

Lockheed launched to new heights in 2019. Revenues grew 11.3% and profits 23.5%, making it the most profitable aerospace company on the 500. Its stock climbed nearly 50%—well ahead of the robust returns of the broader market. Particularly notable was the continued success of the F-35 program, which for a time risked becoming a costly boondoggle. After producing 91 of the fighters in 2018, Lockheed delivered 134 in 2019, and won new contracts including a Pentagon buy of 478 of the advanced jets for $34 billion. That adds to a production backlog that now sits at $144 billion, much larger than those of competitors. Despite global headwinds in early 2020, Lockheed’s operations haven’t yet shown signs of a stall—with first-quarter net earnings up slightly year over year, guidance for the year barely lowered, and a fresh $6.1 billion Pentagon contract for Patriot missiles.
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