HomelandDefenseStocks.com (HDS), a global investor and industry news portal for the homeland defense and security sector, continues its InvestorIdeas.com™ ‘Follow the Money’ series with a look into the growth of government funding for the security and defense industry and its positive impact for homeland security and defense stocks.
With the growing level of defense contracts strengthening the market, the much awaited SAIC IPO made a soaring debut last week up $3.18, on its opening day, a gain of approximately 21% from its $15.00 open.
With the recent signing by President George Bush of the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, the Department of Homeland Security will remain well funded as it continues to focus on key areas such as border security, and improvements within FEMA. The bill includes $34.8 billion in regular and emergency appropriations and an “unprecedented level of funding for critical components of our Secure Border Initiative (SBInet),” according to the Department of Homeland Security. This funding will be directed towards 1,500 border patrol agents, 6,700 detention beds, and $1.2 billion for border fencing, vehicle barriers, technology, and tactical infrastructure.
The Secure Border Initiative has been the focus amongst defense firms due to the amount of funding available. SBInet looks to establish a necessary and effective combination of current as well as next generation technology, infrastructure, response systems and staffing to provide a comprehensive border security solution.
Homeland Security stocks appear to have done well with the promise of additional funding. Since the initial announcement of the Secure Border Initiative in November of 2005, several major defense players have seen double digit stock price appreciation. Raytheon Company’s stock has risen over $13.00 to its current level of $50.80, with Northrop Grumman up $15.51 with its recent close of $69.71. Defense giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin have realized even greater gains with Boeing’s stock up almost $18.00 since November, and Lockheed’s stock price rising from $59.98, to yesterday’s close of $88.60, a gain of $28.62.
The SBInet contract valued at $67 million was recently awarded to aerospace giant Boeing, as the Company beat out proposals from heavy hitters such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Ericsson. Boeing will now take on the task of providing, through in-house technology and subcontractors, a comprehensive border security solution along the north and south borders over the next three years. The systems that will be integrated throughout this deployment will entail surveillance, sensors and detection technology, in addition to various towers, fencing, infrastructure and airborne assets such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and satellite imagery.
Boeing will handle the SBInet rollout through a team of defense companies such as Centech, DRS, L3, Lucent and several others. Additional companies will also reap the rewards of this lucrative contract as Boeing begins to issue its subcontracts to outside companies. Boeing’s stock is up $6.55 since the contract announcement.
This outsourcing trend is likely to continue over the next five years according to Homeland Security Research Corporation as the race for market leadership continues and contractors work to meet technological requirements by integrating outside solutions with their own offerings to produce comprehensive systems and take advantage of the flow of money from government funding efforts.
Denis Amato, Executive Vice President and Portfolio Manager with Ancora Advisors, Ancora Homeland Security Mutual Fund explains, “With a bill now passed and both parties in agreement for the need, border and port security appears to be ready to expand although the debate still rages over whether the security should be at the receiving port or the shipping port. The two biggest companies which should benefit are OSI Systems and American Science and engineering with other smaller companies with new technologies such as Isonics hoping to benefit as well.”
As geopolitical tensions continue to escalate in areas such as North Korea, who recently threatened to conduct additional nuclear tests in response to the intervention efforts by the United States, the urgency within the homeland defense and security sector remains certain. “Given the latest focus on the North Korean and Iranian moves toward nuclear capability the areas of missile defense and radiation detection should be a subject of interest and beneficial for companies in this area such as RAE Systems,” states Amato.
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