Lockheed's Pathetic Perks

Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX  ) will spot you a latte, and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) a chicken salad. Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD  ) offers 15% coupons for its theme parks. And if you own a share of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) , Geico will give you a break on car insurance. While not as plentiful as they once were, "membership [still] has its privileges" at a few companies that continue to shower their shareholders with perks.

And now we can add aerospace titan Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) to the line of companies bearing shareholder gifts, although I must insist it go to the back of the line.

In a press release that I only hesitate to call "fluff" out of fear of disparaging fluff, Lockheed yesterday announced that "Lockheed Martin employees, retirees and stockholders nationwide are eligible to purchase a calendar at discounts ranging from 25% to 44%." This, says Lockheed, is due to its sponsorship of the 2008 edition of theYearinSpace calendar.

What Lockheed failed to mention, though, is that the "discount" in question is also available to "employees, members, retirees, stockholders or customers" of fellow calendar sponsors and Lockheed rivals Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) .

Oh, and to "astronomy club members." And "faculty, staff, and students of any school, college, or university." Heck, when you get right down to it, "anyone who saw the calendar advertised on the Internet" (which, as of this moment, includes you, dear Fool) can have the discount.

Foolish takeaway
I don't expect investors to come beating down the investor relations office door at Lockheed trying to get in on this deal. When it comes right down to it, the shares fall a far sight short of Players Club membership in the perks department. Then again, priced as they are at just approximately 16 times trailing earnings, with 12% projected profits growth, and a history of beating estimates, Lockheed Martin shares just might be worth owning on their own merits.

Still looking for the perks? Check out Rick Munarriz's two-part inquiry into where the swag is:


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