Lockheed Martin F-35
Lockheed Martin Corp. expects its order backlog to reach a record $140 billion by the end of the year, showing the resilience of some U.S. defense companies in the face of low domestic orders and geopolitical turmoil.
The world’s largest defense company by revenue said on 22 October 2019 that while it expects sales growth to slow next year but sold record number of missiles, space systems and its F-35 combat jet in 2019, it will still generate more cash for dividends and stock buybacks.
U.S. defense companies have benefited from domestic orders over the past two years, but investors remain concerned about a domestic budget impasse as well as the outcome of the next presidential election.
Lockheed Martin Chief Financial Officer Ken Possenriede said the company expects to add $17 billion in orders this year, with the backlog stretching out further than in recent years. This in part reflects the big ramp-up in F-35 production, with deliveries set to climb to 140 next year from 131 in 2019. A final deal for the sale of more than 400 jets—which at $35 billion would be the largest-ever military contract—is expected in the next couple of weeks, he said. The State Department approved foreign military sale of $8 billion to Taiwan which includes 66 Lockheed Martin F-16V added to the backlog order of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin also received order of F-16V and associated support package from Slovakia.
Mr. Possenriede said the outlook for its Sikorsky helicopter is building the new presidential helicopter fleet, as well as new choppers for the Navy and the Air Force.
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