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Taking Charge and Taking Change With Cubic

By Chris Jones - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:03PM

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There's still money to be made in defense.

Cubic (NYSE:CUB) probably won some hearts and minds last week, when it announced that not only will several of its employees receive the Meritorious Unit Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy, but also that it accepted new contracts for both of its major businesses totaling $39.5 million.

Cubic, based in San Diego, operates primarily in two segments. One provides realistic combat training systems, and the other focuses on designing and manufacturing automated fare-collection systems for public mass-transit authorities. Perhaps it's not the most intuitive way to diversify a business, but why argue? The company has an alluring price-to-sales ratio of 0.83 and more cash than debt.

From simulating warfare ...
Fourteen of Cubic's employees, subcontractors, and former employees are being recognized with the II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element for their training involvement in 2004 and 2005. Over the past decade, Cubic's methods have evolved from computer-based simulations to live, virtual, and constructive training, which is now capable of commingling units from different branches of service. For example, Marines operating computers in North Carolina recently linked up with Air Force personnel operating a gunship simulator in Florida. Its training scenarios cover both combat and humanitarian operations, preparing troops for terrorists and tsunamis alike.

Cubic received a $10.6 million contract to produce training modules for the Javelin, which Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) manufacture under a joint venture. Cubic scored another $10 million by being selected by Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) to assist in the first phase of a new program aimed at developing a replacement for a ranging system in use at major U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy test ranges.

... To collecting city bus fares
In its transportation segment, Cubic received an $18.9 million contract to refurbish and upgrade the fare collection system for the San Francisco Municipal Railway, which uses the same equipment Cubic designed and delivered back in 1991.

Overall, it was a momentous week for Cubic. For those new to the company, it incorporated in 1949, pays a small dividend, supports our servicemen and women, and traded at around 16 times expected 2009 earnings per share. Keep it on the radar.

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Fool contributor Chris Jones does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy became self-aware last week, but it has decided to let the humans live.

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