June 19, 2004 – Lockheed Martin was picked yesterday as Forbes.comâ€™s latest stock of the week. With the increased climate of militarism under the so-called "war-on-terror," and a major US military presence in Iraq expected to continue after June 30, Forbes encouraged investors to take advantage of the companyâ€™s position in a â€œstrong industry group.â€�
Bethesda-based Lockheed-Martin is one of the largest makers of weapons and military equipment in world, producing fighter aircraft, missile components, and space technology. It is known as a producer of components for Apache helicopters and Tomahawk cruise missiles, used by the US military in Iraq and other countries.
Lockheed-Martin was highlighted by Forbes due to a profit of $291million, up sixteen percent from the first quarter of 2003. Forbes cites â€œhigher sales of combat aircraftâ€� as one of the main reasons for the high level of growth. Moreover, at the end of 2003, the company reportedly had a backlog of orders totaling $76.9 billion.
Forbes notes that Lockheed-Martin is a major beneficiary of the US publicâ€™s tax dollars, with 62 percent of its contracts coming from the US Department of Defense and 16 percent from the Department of Homeland Security.
The company is due to complete a merger with the giant computer and spy systems firm Titan Corporation in the next few months, pending the result of an ongoing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department. The government entities are looking into bribery allegations surrounding Titanâ€™s operations in various countries, including Benin and Saudi Arabia reports the San Diego Union Tribune.