WILMINGTON, OH (Sept. 30, 1999) -- To build on yesterday's review of the defense and aerospace industry, let's consider key companies.

Although there are many in this sector that have strong investment appeal, many do not offer DRiP/DSP plans. I have researched some basic information on six major companies that do. Along with this information, I have provided a link to their websites so you can pursue your own research.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is the primary developer (along with Boeing) of the next-generation F-22 air superiority fighter. It is also heavily involved with development of the electronic package for the Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow and Comanche helicopters. This dual emphasis on military aircraft and electronics stand to make Lockheed Martin a very attractive candidate. Lockheed Martin has a fee-free Drip plan, administered by First Chicago Trust. The minimum optional cash payment (OCP) is $50. (http://www.shareholder.com/LMT/SERVICES.HTM#drip)

Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) is the primary developer (along with Boeing) of the next generation F/A-18 E/F attack fighter for the Navy. They are also the lead producers of the B-2 bomber and EA-6B, E-2C, and E-8C reconnaissance/electronic warfare/control aircraft. Northrop Grumman produces the electronics/radar package for the E-3 AWACS, F-22, and F-16. This company also has a strong presence in both the aircraft and electronics areas. Northrop Grumman has a fee-free Drip plan administered by Chase Mellon Bank. Minimum OCP is $100. (http://www.northgrum.com/)

Boeing Corporation (NYSE: BA) is the largest developer of civilian and military aircraft in the world. On the military side, they are involved with Lockheed Martin in the Air Force's F-22 and with Northrop Grumman on the Navy's F/A-18 E/F. They are working with United Technologies on the Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow and Comanche helicopter program. On their own they are developing the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft for the Marines and the C-17 transport for all service branches. Boeing has a significant presence in the civilian aircraft industry; as explained yesterday, this could result in a drag on earnings for the intermediate term. Boeing's Drip is administered by First National Bank of Boston. Minimum OCP is $100, and there is a $1 fee plus commission for dividend reinvestments and optional cash purchases. It appears there is a 50-share minimum requirement for participation in this plan. (http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/financial/reinvestment.html)

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX) is working with Boeing on the Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow and Comanche helicopters in their Sikorsky Division. United Technologies is better known as the maker of Otis elevators and escalators, Pratt & Whitney engines, and Carrier heating and cooling systems. Investing in United Technologies would be a good way to integrate a little defense in your portfolio with diversification into other areas. United Technologies has a fee-free Drip administered by First Chicago Trust. Minimum OCP is $100. (http://www.utc.com/home.htm)

Raytheon (NYSE: RTN.B) is the largest developer and provider of missile technology in the world. They also are a major designer of electronic warfare devices. They are best known for their highly effective Tomahawk cruise missiles, but they also produce AIM-9 Sidewinders, AIM-54 Phoenix, AGM-65 Maverick, Sparrow, and Stinger systems. In the last year, the Pentagon depleted most of its stores of air-to-ground Tomahawk missiles in Iraq and Kosovo. These resources will need to be replenished -- certainly a positive for this giant conglomerate. Raytheon has a fee-free Drip administered by Boston Equi-Serve. Minimum OCP is $25. (http://www.raytheon.com/)

Newport News Shipbuilding (NYSE: NNS) is a nongovernment-owned shipyard engaged in the design, construction, repair, overhaul, and refueling of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy. Newport News Shipbuilding appears to be the only option in defense shipbuilding because General Dynamics (mostly submarines) and Litton Industries (mostly surface combatants and auxiliary ships) do not appear to offer direct investing plans. Newport News offers a traditional Drip (ownership of one share required to participate) and a DSP plan (an investor may buy the first and all subsequent shares directly). The DSP plan requires a $500 initial purchase with a $15 setup fee. It is a "high-fee" plan, with a fee of 5% (up to $3) to reinvest dividends, plus a commission. I could not find the fee for OCPs, but the minimum OCP is $50. (http://www.nns.com/)

To discuss these companies, please visit the Drip Companies message board linked in the top right of this page.