Why Alliant Techsystems Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of defense contractor Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK  ) climbed 10% on Thursday after its quarterly results and guidance easily topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: Alliant's stock has slumped in 2012 on concerns over decreased defense spending, but a wide first-quarter beat -- EPS of $2.16 on revenue of $1.08 billion versus the consensus of just $1.42 and $963.7 million -- coupled with upbeat guidance for the full year naturally eases some of those worries. Solid sales growth at its defense and sporting segments helped offset a slump in aerospace revenue, triggering optimism that demand is finally picking up.

Now what: For the full year, management now sees EPS of $7.00-$7.30 on revenue of $4.05 billion-$4.15 billion, up from its prior view of $6.25-$6.55 and $4.0 billion-$4.1 billion, respectively. "As we look forward across the ATK portfolio, we remain focused on maintaining a sound backlog and delivering quality products that exceed customer expectations," CEO Mark DeYoung said. "We continue to look for opportunities for growth, margin improvement and cost reductions necessary to succeed in a challenging marketplace." With the stock still well off its 52-week highs and trading at a P/E around six, I wouldn't let today's rally keep me from looking into Alliant.

Interested in more info on Alliant? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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  • Report this Comment On August 09, 2012, at 11:18 AM, autoinsider wrote:

    Sell the printers, make money on the ink. ATK is the largest maker of ammo in the U.S. While others are chasing gun maker stocks, ammo is the way to go. Duh.

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