A Cheap, Wide-Moat Aerospace and Defense Firm – Morningstar.com

We like General Dynamics as a wide-moat name that remains a bit undervalued.

The company’s most significant recent strategic move is its $9.7 billion acquisition of CSRA, an information technology and cybersecurity services provider to the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies. This deal closed in early April 2018.

Following the CSRA acquisition, General Dynamics will operate five segments: aerospace systems, which manufactures Gulfstream business jets; combat systems, a military tank and ground vehicle business, which builds the venerable M1 Abrams main battle tank; marine systems, which focuses on nuclear powered submarines; information technology and cybersecurity services; and a smaller mission systems business that makes radios and communications systems for the U.S. military.

We think investors continue to underappreciate the recovery taking hold in business jets, and some investors are also applying a generic conglomerate discount to General Dynamics, despite management’s proven ability to drive value creation for shareholders and the fact that General Dynamics is a clear market leader in business jets, submarine construction, and information technology and other services for the U.S. government.

It’s also worth noting that the company has a long track record of performing for investors, generating positive economic profit nine out of the past 10 years, and it also recently became a dividend aristocrat, which means it has increased its dividend for 25 straight years.

The stock remains one of the cheaper names in our aerospace and defense coverage.

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