A new McAleese & Associates report says most defense prime contractors recorded a 2 percent to 3 percent increase in sales during 2021.
Jim McAleese, founder of McAleese & Associates and a three-time Wash100 winner, presented an analysis of the fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial performance of Boeing (NYSE: BA), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII).
McAleese said major defense primes project sales to climb 2 percent in 2022, down from previously expected sales growth of 4 percent, as supply chain disruption trickles into 2022 in “stealth mode.”
Defense companies returned approximately $25 billion in cash to investors in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2021, up 74 percent from the 2020 figure of $14.3 billion.
Although the Nuclear Triad Recapitalization is considered an urgent “watch item,” McAleese said the tight labor market will likely impact the pace of the program in 2022.
Meanwhile, investors expect defense funding to jump 6 percent to $745 billion in 2022, up from the previous year’s enacted funding level of $704 billion. They also expect Congress to delay or repeal the research and development amortization for 2022, which could result in approximately $4.6 billion of free cashflow to defense primes, according to the report.