Last week on the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner reviewed the performance of two sets of his buy-and-hold stock picks: one set with a five-year horizon, and one that he recommended we hold for a year. This week, he offers up a new handful of recommendations, and the theme that came to his mind was Motley Fool Explorer, which is one of the premium services that competitively cherry-picks stocks from the Supernova universe.
So David is offering five hidden gems from the 210 Foolish holdings -- long-term market beaters that have never been part of a Real Money mission that have market caps below $10 billion and brand names most people won't recognize. And he thinks you should hold them for the next three years or more. Next up, Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a smaller aerospace and defense company.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Sept. 13, 2017.
David Gardner: "Hidden Gem" No. 2: Let's go to the letter "O." The ticker symbol is OA. I bet you can't guess what that one is. That's part of the point. Most people don't recognize the names of these companies or what they're doing. OA stands for Orbital ATK.
Orbital ATK began, for me anyway, as Orbital Sciences, a stock that I recommended in Motley Fool Rule Breakers in August 2007. It was at $43 a share then. Today it's at $108, so a very strong performer. It's up 150%. The market, by the way, up 120%, so it's 32% ahead of the market over those 10 years that we've now held Orbital Sciences.
But just a couple of years ago the company merged. It merged with Alliant Techsystems, a company in Northern Virginia. Actually, they're both kind of near each other here in the Greater D.C. area. And Orbital ATK is the traditional aerospace and defense company, but with a lot of focus -- think about the word "orbital" -- on the aerospace part of aerospace and defense. The company operates space launch vehicles. Satellites. It does some missile defense systems. It's a pretty broadly diversified, but smaller aerospace company.
Their tag line, as best I could figure it out on their website, is "The Partner You Can Count On," which kind of makes sense. When you're partnering with them to hang an extremely expensive satellite somewhere up there above planet Earth, you need a dependable partner. Orbital certainly has had its failures on the launch pad, as have other peers, and that will always be part of this business over the years.
But what are a few traits that I value in Orbital? Well, first of all I just like space, and there's a lot of emphasis these days on Elon Musk. Many of you will know that in addition to Tesla and SolarCity, which is now part of Tesla, he also oversees SpaceX, and has a lot of passion for space flight.
Of course, Mars. Much has been made of Elon Musk's dream, he says, of one day hoping to die, when he does die, not on Earth but on Mars. Very space-focused person. A lot of people love space. I love space, too. I bet you might love space. And we can't buy shares of SpaceX today. It's a private company. But if you want to get involved in this business -- we've been involved with this stock for 10 years now, and we've beaten the market with it -- think about OA, Orbital ATK.
I also want to point out the company has a very robust balance when you look at its revenue diversity. There are three divisions of this company: flight systems, defense systems, and space systems. And each of them is between $300 [million and] $400 million. In other words, a very well balanced business.
One other thing I'll point out. I love companies with backlogs. That means they've already been contracted to deliver products or services in years ahead. This company, today, has a backlog of $15 billion. That is very strong for a company whose market cap is only $6 billion. So yes, I like Orbital ATK. I hope you do, too.