This Aerospace Powerhouse Will Double Your Money (And Seriously Upgrade Your Vacations)

Basically, this covered everything from nuclear and electromagnetic weapons to radiation therapies for cancers.

Leidos' unmatched ability to take cutting-edge technology and turn it into pragmatic applications has been a big part of its ability to thrive for decades in a cutthroat environment.

But it has stayed closer to its scientific roots than the bigger defense firms. It's not a top tier player in defense, but that's no ding against Leidos: That means it's much better leveraged for growth.

As a matter of fact, in 2016, Leidos bought Lockheed's Information Systems and Global Solutions business for $4.6 billion to be more competitive in the aerospace and defense markets.

This has been part of a longer-term strategy to build out its aerospace work through its longstanding government and Pentagon relationships.

Late last year, Leidos bought Huntsville, Ala.-based aerospace and applied sciences firm Dynetics for $1.6 billion to further expand its exposure to hypersonics, space, and weapons systems.

And yet it has managed to absorb those firms and keep fresh cash flowing in, to the tune of $922 million a year, in fact.

I believe this conservative approach is great news for investors. It shows the company is highly efficient, with a laser-like focus on its core competencies.

The fact that Leidos has battled it out – successfully – in the aerospace sector for four years means big things ahead.

The Military (Badly) Needs What Leidos Provides

Leidos boasts a workforce of nearly 11,000. Of those, some 38% are former Department of Defense employees. It's no surprise then that more than a third of its $10 billion-plus annual revenue comes from defense and intel agencies.

That's where the new Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) comes in. As the name implies, this is a sophisticated platform that can track objects flying through space at hypersonic speeds.

During the dark days of the Cold War, the U.S. and allied militaries reckoned they'd have about 30 minutes' time between the hostile launch of a land-based ICBM and its impact. Now, that's not a very long time, but it's sufficient when you only need 10 minutes to prepare and launch a counterstrike.

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