The defense industry has experienced quite the boom since President Donald Trump took office. Back in February, he initially unveiled plans to significantly increase federal spending related to national security, seeking $54 billion to spend on a variety of defense-related systems and stoking a rally in defense stocks.
Then there’s the multi-billion-dollar arms deal reached in May with Saudi Arabia. The transaction was a way to both improve a decades-long alliance with the world’s largest oil exporter, as well as potentially lead to additional sales to other countries in the region. Defense giants like Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) — whose technology was part of the agreement — Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), and Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) will all likely benefit.
And recently, the industry has undergone a small wave of consolidation. United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) announced a major $30 billion deal to acquire Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL), creating one of the world’s largest aircraft-equipment manufactures. Not long after, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) said it would be buying Orbital ATK Inc (NYSE:OA) in order to expand and increase its defense footprint; Orbital notably holds a contract with NASA to resupply the International Space Station with its Antares rocket.
As defense stocks and funds like the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (BATS:ITA) continue to gain this year, let’s take a look at three top picks for your portfolio.