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Lockheed Martin launched to new heights in 2019, as revenues grew 11.3% and profits 23.5%, and its stock climbed nearly 50%. Particularly notable was the continued success of the F-35 program: Lockheed delivered 134 of the fighters 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; the company in July announced Q2 2020 earnings that beat expectations. The company is now being helmed by a new corporate pilot: James Taiclet, who was formerly the chief executive of American Tower, a real estate investment trust. Taiclet succeeds Marillyn Hewson, the top-ranked executive on Fortune's Most Powerful Women in Business list in 2018 and 2019, who stepped down as CEO in June. She will remain as Lockheed's executive chairman.
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