Aerospace & Defense

9 Companies Set to Dominate the Space Race and Privatization of Space

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is rated as Buy, and the firm’s $360 price objective implies upside of almost 15%. It has a 52-week range of $245.50 to $322.19 and a consensus analyst target of $327.47, and Lockheed Martin shares are up 25% so far in 2017.

Lockheed’s space-related efforts include space operations simulation, engineering documents, commercial space, a Mars base camp effort, GPS systems, Atlas rockets and many more.

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) has a Buy rating and a $350 target price, some 16% higher than the recent $300 share price. The acquisition of Orbital ATK, being an ISS supplier for NASA and having scaled composites, gives it upside and a medium concentration of space as its business. Northrop Grumman shares are up 29% so far in 2017, and it has a 52-week range of $220.72 to $306.61. The defense giant has a consensus price target of $318.18.

Northrop Grumman is another legacy space player, dating back to the dawn of the space age. It offers systems engineering, spacecraft manufacturing, precision sensors, space instrument design, ground stations development and orbiting space platforms.

Raytheon

Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) has a Buy rating at Merrill Lynch, and the $220 price objective implies upside of close to 20% from the recent $184 share price. Raytheon has a 52-week range of $137.70 to $190.25 and a consensus price target of $202.61. Its stock has seen a gain of almost 30% so far in 2017.

Raytheon is into guidance computers, cybersecurity, earth monitoring, data dissemination and image transmitters, and it provides critical intelligence. Raytheon’s microwave amplifier is said to have beamed back the first lunar images and delivered Neil Armstrong’s famous transmission, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

ViaSat

ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) is a satellite company with core businesses around government and commercial communications. Merrill Lynch’s Buy rating comes with a $74 price objective, barely higher than the $72.50 price seen this week. Shares have traded between $57.75 and $76.87 in the past year, and the consensus price target is $67.20. ViaSat shares, despite being above the consensus target price, have generated returns of only about 10% year to date.

ViaSat is a satellite leader, for communications, data controllers, high-capacity for government and shipboard communications.

XL Group

XL Group Ltd. (NYSE: XL) may be considered a reinsurance company, but it is also a leader in space and satellite insurance. Though Merrill Lynch has a Buy rating, the stock recently was removed from Merrill Lynch’s prized US 1 List (focus list). The firm’s $47 price objective implies just over 20% upside. CFRA (S&P) has an even more ambitious $49 target price, but investors have to understand that there are many other areas like weather, marine, health, transport, professional, consumer, food and more that you have to factor in here on top of space insurance.

XL Group has a 52-week range of $35.70 to $47.27 and a consensus price target of $44.86. This stock has been the slowest performer of the lot in 2017, with a total return of less than 5%.