4 'Strong Buy' Dividend-Paying Defense Stocks to Grab Now With War in Ukraine Looming

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The situation has become dicier every day, and while the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Army has not started yet, some 130,000 troops are massed near the border. The Russian Foreign Minister did note that there may be a way forward with talks between the two countries, but the bottom line is Russia flexing its muscles in Eastern Europe is a massive wake-up call for the NATO allies.

Nobody wants the dogs of war to return once again. President Biden has made it clear the United States would not send troops into the region, but you can bet that the biggest countries in Europe, like Germany and France, are assessing their strength and readiness. All this could benefit some of the biggest aerospace and defense companies in the United States. Add to the equation an ever-growing threat from China, and other allies like Japan and Australia may be checking their military preparedness very closely as well.

We screened our 24/7 Wall Street research database looking for the top Buy-rated aerospace and defense companies that also paid solid and dependable dividends. We found four that are outstanding ideas now, especially with the market teetering on the abyss. It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

General Dynamics

Like other major defense contractors, this submarine and tank builder looks poised to deliver solid numbers and guidance the rest of this year and perhaps beyond. General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) is engaged in business aviation, land and expeditionary combat vehicles and systems, armaments, munitions, shipbuilding and marine systems, and information systems and technologies.

Major products include Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine and Ohio class replacement, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis, Abrams M1A2 tank, Stryker eight-wheeled assault vehicle, medium-caliber munitions and gun systems, tactical and strategic mission systems.

Investors in General Dynamics stock receive a 2.25% dividend. BofA Securities has a price target of $250 for the shares. The consensus target is posted lower at $237.53, and shares closed on Monday at $211.17 apiece.

Lockheed Martin

This is one of the top aerospace and defense stocks to buy, and many on Wall Street are expecting a very solid continuation of U.S. and foreign defense spending. Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) researches, designs, develops, manufactures, integrates, operates and sustains advanced technology systems, products and services. It also provides a wide range of defense electronics products and IT services. It also has one of America’s highest-paid CEOs.

Being the Pentagon’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin offers a diverse portfolio of global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies. Its leveraged presence in the Army, Air Force, Navy and IT programs guarantees a steady inflow of follow-on orders, not only from the U.S. government but also from many foreign allies of the nation.

Investors receive a 2.89% dividend. The $450 Morgan Stanley price objective is well above the $407.50 consensus target price. Lockheed Martin stock closed trading on Monday at $386.97.

L3 Harris Technologies

After its 2019 merger, this is now the sixth-largest defense company. L3 Harris Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LHX) is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator engaged in the provision of defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains.

Its Integrated Mission Systems segment includes intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; advanced electro optical and infrared; and maritime power and navigation. The Space and Airborne Systems segment comprises space payloads, sensors and full-mission solutions; classified intelligence and cyber defense; avionics; and electronic warfare.

Top Wall Street analysts have felt for some time that the company is situated well in the high growth buckets of the Defense Department budget, and many believe the business is not as short-cycle as the market historically has perceived. Merger synergies give the business a unique path to cash flow and margin upside, along with above-average revenue growth.

Shareholders receive a 1.86% dividend. The Wolfe Research price target on L3 Harris Technologies stock is $266, which would be an all-time high. The stock was last seen on Monday trading at $219.82 a share.

Northrop Grumman

This was ranked as one of the top five defense contractors by sales last year, and it is on the BofA Securities US 1 list of top stock picks. Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) provides innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. It also has one of America’s highest-paid CEOs.

The Aerospace Systems segment designs, develops, integrates and produces manned aircraft, unmanned systems, spacecraft, high-energy laser systems, microelectronics and other systems and subsystems.

The Information Systems segment offers advanced solutions for the Department of Defense, national intelligence and federal civilian, state, international and commercial customers. It provides products and services primarily in the fields of command and control, communications, cyber, air and missile defense, intelligence processing, civil security, health information technology, and government support systems.

The Technical Services segment provides logistics, modernization and sustainment services, as well as other advanced technology and engineering services, including space, missile defense, nuclear security, training and simulation services.

Shareholders receive a 1.61% dividend. BofA Securities has set a whopping $520 price target. The consensus target for Northrop Grumman stock is just $408.56, but shares closed trading at $390.60 apiece on Monday.

These top companies reported solid earnings, and the recent market pullback is giving investors a chance to buy the shares at very reasonable entry points. In what is a very overbought and expensive market, all four still offer compelling value and could be very timely ideas given the current geopolitical climate.

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