5 Defense Stocks Poised to Go on the Offensive

Rising federal spending bodes well for all makers of military hardware and services. But these will do better than most.

The U.S. government is planning to spend substantially more on defense. That bodes well for all makers of military hardware and providers of military logistics services. However, some are better-positioned than others to capitalize on the planned spending growth.

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Symbol: HII

This roughly $12 billion company is the nation’s busiest builder of military ships, including amphibious transport dock ships and the Navy's next aircraft carrier, the John F. Kennedy.

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Lockheed Martin

Symbol: LMT

One of the country’s biggest and best suppliers of defense systems is behind and overbudget on the F-35 fighter jet program, but the Department of Defense is still committed. Another notable weapon is the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.

Northrop Grumman

Symbol: NOC

Another huge diversified defense contractor, Northrop Grumman also contributed to the F-35. Other products include the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, and the next generation stealth bomber, known as the B-21.

United Technologies

Symbol: UTI

This industrial giant doesn't have its name on any big weapons systems but its products are found in many. Plus, its Pratt & Whitney jet engines power many of the military's airplanes, including the F-35, F-22 and F-16.

Spirit Aerosystems

Symbol: SPR

Like United Technologies, Spirit Aerosystems builds critical parts, specifically for aircraft. Weapons systems that use Spirit parts include the V-22 Osprey, a half-helicopter, half-plane craft in use with the U.S. Marines, as well as Sikorsky helicopters across the services.

SEE MORE: 10 Defense Stocks to Buy to Go on the Offensive

James Brumley
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
James Brumley is a former stock broker, registered investment adviser and Director of Research for an options-focused newsletter. He's now primarily a freelance writer, tapping more than a decade's worth of broad experience to help investors get more out of the market. With a background in technical analysis as well as fundamental analysis, James touts stock-picking strategies that combine the importance of company performance with the power of stock-trade timing. He believes this dual approach is the only way an investor has a shot at consistently beating the market. James' work has appeared at several websites including Street Authority, Motley Fool, Kapitall and Investopedia. When not writing as a journalist, James works on his book explaining his multi-pronged approach to investing.