Don't Shoot Down Lockheed Martin

The world's largest defense contractor has a solid backlog of orders and stable revenue even in a recession, so one bad satellite won't hurt its prospects.

It sounds like a job for James Bond. The Pentagon announced February 14 that it will attempt to shoot down a malfunctioning U.S. spy satellite, which is the size of a bus and carries toxic fuel, as it plummets toward Earth. Lockheed Martin, the world's largest military contractor, made the satellite.

A rogue satellite produces embarrassing headlines. But for investors, the more relevant news is that Lockheed (symbol LMT) owns several stable businesses with sound prospects for the coming year.

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Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance