Orbital: It Really Is Rocket Science

04/22/2015 8:00 am EST


Michael Cintolo

Vice President of Investments and Chief Analyst, Cabot Heritage Corporation

We sometimes say that growth investing isn't rocket science, but with this latest featured recommendation, that's not quite true, asserts Mike Cintolo, editor of Cabot Top Ten Trader.

Orbital ATK (OA) is the largest manufacturer of small- and medium-caliber ammunition in the US, as well as a leading maker of solid rocket propulsion systems, commercial satellites, and space-launch vehicles and systems.

The company also makes a variety of other defense materials and systems, but its revenue comes from a healthy mix of national security, NASA/civil government, and commercial/international sales.

Orbital ATK is a product of the merger of Orbital Sciences with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems (thus the ATK in the new company's name).

Orbital ATK has been trading on the NYSE under the OA symbol since February 10, and investors have clearly noticed that the combined technological expertise of the new company will make it a strong competitor in both defense and aerospace contracts.

Orbital ATK already has a contract backlog of over $12 billion, which is a large book for a company whose prior annual sales were just above $5 billion.

The combined company will be able to offer substantial cost reductions to customers along with new and enhanced products. A bigger defense budget from Uncle Sam doesn't hurt either. It also pays a 1.4% annual dividend yield.

OA has been in a strong uptrend since the middle of December, bouncing off a low of $46 after a seven-month correction from $70. The stock charged to over $80 in late March. The stock's rising 25-day moving average is at $76 now, which may provide some lift.

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