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Finding Profits in the One Technology That Can Protect the Pentagon’s Secrets

Posted On March 26, 2018 1:59 pm
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Last June, it began piloting the federal government’s first blockchain project with vendors Sapient and United Solutions. The concept here is to move onto a blockchain the GSA’s IT products and its FAStlane service that keeps new vendors on schedule.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted nearly $750,000 to a blockchain startup to look at identity management and online access issues. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is looking into blockchain solutions for IT and research projects.

In other words, the blockchain is set to have a huge impact on the federal government’s $3.65 trillion budget.

To help advance the goal of lock-tight and secure systems, aided by blockchain, the government is turning to one of their most trusted contractors.

Meet the Milblock

I’m talking about Lockheed Martin Inc. (NYSE: LMT).

The storied firm derives more than $50 billion in sales from four key areas: global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies.

And right now, a key area of focus for that advanced technologies group is a focus on Milblock, where Lockheed Martin has been an early adopter.

In May 2017, the firm said it had become the first U.S. military contractor to build blockchain technology right into its development processes.

And Lockheed aims to deploy the Milblock across its operations. Various teams that oversee supply-chain risk management, systems engineering, and software development are now all installing the Guardtime Federal Coreblockchain infrastructure.

And Lockheed’s clients will be able to start building out Milblock through the firm’s Black Lantern cyber-defense appliances.

Of course, Lockheed will likely always be best known for its weaponry.

And it’s set to ramp up sales there as well.

From Fighter Jets to Satellites

Plans call for 90 deliveries of the F-35 fighter jet in 2018. In the next few years, that figure is expected to rise to around 130 planes.

The “fifth generation” fighter combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, and network-enabled operations. It’s a popular choice for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and 10 other militaries around the world.

Lockheed Martin is also a crucial supplier of space-based technologies. The $9.5 billion division helps the U.S. intelligence community to keep close tabs on our global adversaries’ communications.

And the telecom and internet sectors now rely on the more than 100 commercial satellites (and related gear) that Lockheed has placed into orbit. The LM2100 satellite, which will have its maiden voyage in the second quarter of 2018, brings the most advanced technology yet to commercial satellite buyers.

We’re only scratching the surface here. Lockheed Martin operates a range of smaller divisions focused on military and commercial helicopters, naval systems, platform integration, simulation and training. And the firm is playing a growing role in support of the energy sector.

Locked-in Demand… and Rising Profits

Clearly, the stepped-up pace of defense spending in the face of rising global threats means that Lockheed Martin will generate strong sales for years to come.

Just as important, the firm is making a series of moves to boost profits. Look for adjusted earnings to rise 15% this year, to $8.1 billion.

Management has built a strong track record with Wall Street. Fourth-quarter profits of $4.30 per share, for example, were well ahead of the $3.98 consensus forecast.

And 2018 and 2019 profit forecasts have moved sharply higher from forecasts in place before earnings were released in late January.

Here we have a leading defense contractor that captures all of the key defense spending trends, and also ensures a leading-edge tech focus by embracing new innovations such as the Milblock.

*This has been a guest post by Money Morning*

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