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Courtenay: The Aerospace Sector Is Suddenly Soaring

Tickers in this article: LMT RTN
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The reasons I initially invested in Lockheed Martin (LMT) had mostly to do with how undervalued it looked when I bought it and the terrific dividend it offered.

I've only owned LMT since Feb. 14, 2013, when I picked up the shares for $86.29. The 5%-plus dividend yield "spoke to me," as did its low price-to-earnings (PE) multiple.

LMT is a great company, and in my book it's the leading publicly traded enterprise of the aerospace and defense sector. The Bethesda, Md.-based company features so many products and services it's hard to wrap one's brain around it all.

It provides research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and support of advanced technology systems and products for defense, civil, and commercial applications in the United States and internationally. Also management, engineering, technical, scientific, logistic, and information services.

LMT's aeronautics segment offers military aircraft, including combat and air mobility aircraft, unmanned air vehicles, and related technologies. Programs comprise F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter; F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-role fighter; F-22 Raptor, an air dominance and multi-mission stealth fighter; C-130 Hercules, a tactical air lifter; and C-5M Super Galaxy, a strategic air lifter.

Its information systems & global solutions segment offers management services, integrated information technology solutions, and advanced technology solutions for civil, defense, intelligence, and other government customers.

This is the division that our nation and other governmental entities can't live without, and it's growing every year.

On Friday, the shares leaped higher in spite of a press release from LMT about the current government spending gridlock commonly referred to as "the sequester." In a carefully worded press release, the company said the following:

"We deeply regret the effect that sequestration is having on our dedicated and hard-working employees. For more than 100 years, our highly talented people have designed and built state-of-the art systems that deliver next generation technology vital to our nation's security and to the world.

"While we await more specific direction from our government customers, we are concerned with the lack of progress toward a solution to reverse the negative impacts of sequestration. We continue to assess the likely impact that sequestration will have on our programs and have taken steps to manage its effect on our employees and our business.

"However, while we understand that the impacts are likely to play out over a period of time, we continue to believe that sequestration will lead to furlough in some situations and could trigger layoffs resulting in Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notices to thousands of our current employees. This is a very difficult time for our employees and their families, and the thousands of supplier companies that we depend on to support our customers' mission."