Defense and Aerospace Highlight Jefferies Focus List of Industrial Stocks to Buy

For years we have covered the top stocks to Buy at Jefferies by tracking the firm’s Franchise List picks, which has outperformed the S&P 500 substantially since its debut in 2013. The firm recently introduced its Focus names list of stocks, and in their words:

All of the 23 Franchise Picks are part of this list, but many more are included as well and these are institutionally relevant stocks where Jefferies analysts have observed elevated investor interest in their views, and the analysis around these stocks is often differentiated. Many of them are top picks.

We screened this list by sectors to find top companies that are not only favorites at Jefferies, but that also may fare well in the new era of Trumponomics. We think the industrials should fare very well under the new administration, with defense and aerospace standing out. We found five outstanding picks on the focus list, and of course, all are rated Buy at Jefferies.


This top aerospace industrial is finally up slightly for 2016 after some rough going earlier in the year. Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, sells, services, and supports commercial jetliners, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services worldwide.

Top analysts have noted that the commercial aerospace business is cyclical, and there are some indications that airlines may have expanded their wide-body fleets too aggressively in recent years, suggesting a period of weaker demand going forward. In addition, the fall in oil prices reduces the incentive to upgrade to the most fuel-efficient planes. Boeing is launching refreshed versions of the 737 and the 777 in the next couple of years.

The company was recently awarded a $478.79 million contract for engineering manufacturing and development of a Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System for the F-15 Eagle fighter jet. With Donald Trump’s pledge to rebuild the military, a positive for the aerospace and defense sector, the stock looks like a solid valuation play at current levels.

Boeing investors are paid a solid 3% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $165, and the Wall Street consensus price target is $151. The shares closed trading on Thursday at $145.33.

General Dynamics

This company, like other major defense prime contractors, had a very solid year and also makes the Focus list at Jefferies. General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) is a worldwide aerospace and defense company, and it has over 96,000 employees worldwide. General Dynamics operates through four business groups: Aerospace, Combat Systems, Marine Systems and Information Systems and Technology. The U.S. government is its largest customer, which should continue to bode well as Congress remains in Republican hands after the recent elections.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently awarded General Dynamics Mission Systems a $125.6 million follow-on contract to provide Rescue 21 program management, system support and maintenance and sustainment engineering support for the U.S. Coast Guard Command, Control and Communications Engineering Center.

Shareholders are paid a 1.83% dividend. Jefferies has a $175 price target, while the consensus estimate is set at $175.94. The stock closed most recently at $165.63 a share.