Popular Science, Popular Stocks

Do companies that make cool stuff make for hot investments?

This week's issue of Popular Science suggests four firms in the defense and aerospace sphere that just might. Perusing this week's edition reveals a whole raft of "cool stuff" under the rubric: "Best of What's New 2008":

  • There's the ground-based telescope, 10 times as powerful as the Hubble Space Telescope, for example.
  • The Japanese communications satellite that will deliver wireless Internet access to earthbound Asian Web surfers at a mind-boggling speed of 1.2 gigabytes per second.
  • And of course, the personal flying jetpack for $100,000.

The companies developing these bleeding-edge devices aren't being traded on the market yet, but four of the other 11 products making the PopSci cut are manufactured by public companies. Here's a quick rundown of who they are, and what they do:

  1. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) won prime billing as the "Grand Award" winner in "Aviation & Space," thanks to its role in building the Phoenix Mars Lander (which ceased functioning last Monday). Lockheed's P/E: 9. Five-year expected growth rate: 11%.
  2. Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) gets kudos for its foresight in buying Scaled Composites last year. SC, as you probably know, builds both suborbital vehicles and the planes that will launch them for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. It was one of these planes, the WhiteKnightTwo, that became first runner-up to Lockheed in PopSci bragging rights. Northrop's P/E: 8. Five-year expected growth rate: 13%.
  3. Fourth place in the magazine's rankings (but first in the hearts of Motley Fool Rule Breakers members) went to GeoEye (Nasdaq: GEOY  ) and its self-titled GeoEye-1 imaging satellite (manufactured for GeoEye by General Dynamics (NYSE: GD  ) ). According to PopSci, the Dash-1's vision is: "twice as sharp as current satellites," a fact that will win its images a place on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Maps next year. GeoEye's P/E: 9.4. Five-year expected growth rate: 20%.
  4. Finally -- and to Star Wars fans a grave injustice, at ninth place in the rankings comes Boeing's (NYSE: BA  ) 18-ton flying laser gun (co-developed with Lockheed, Northrop, and Raytheon (NYSE: RTN  ) . Boeing's P/E: 8. Five-year expected growth rate: 11%.

Foolish takeaway
Each of these four scientific fan-faves is breaking rules, making headlines, and basking in the limelight. What's more, not a one of 'em trades for a PEG of more than 1.0. You can thank Mr. Market's hysteria for the bargains ... and Popular Science for the ideas.

(Just make sure to use the magazine's recommendations as a starting point for further research, and the PEG ratios as your first clue that digging further may be worthwhile. Then, do some due diligence of your own.)

Google and GeoEye are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Boeing. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stock news, financial commentary, and your daily dose of Foolishness: Get plugged into The Motley Fool on Twitter!

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 775542, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/25/2016 3:14:13 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,171.53 -51.50 -0.28%
S&P 500 2,143.32 -8.01 -0.37%
NASD 5,281.22 -28.61 -0.54%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 2:58 PM
LMT $248.45 Up +16.29 +7.02%
Lockheed Martin CAPS Rating: ****
BA $138.66 Up +1.21 +0.88%
Boeing CAPS Rating: ****
GD $152.68 Up +1.24 +0.82%
General Dynamics CAPS Rating: ****
GEOY.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
GeoEye CAPS Rating: *****
GOOGL $827.44 Down -8.30 -0.99%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
NOC $219.58 Up +3.12 +1.44%
Northrop Grumman CAPS Rating: ****
RTN $139.59 Up +1.93 +1.40%
Raytheon CAPS Rating: ****