On the same day as it reported flat earnings for its fiscal second quarter, Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) investors got some better news from one of its clients. On Friday, the Department of Defense announced that the aerospace company was being awarded a sizable $85.2 million order contract for the supply of "eight different types of spare part items for radio receiving sets, low frequency automatic direction finders, and tactical navigation systems for Army helicopters."

The award is described as being a firm-fixed-price, sole-source, ID/IQ long-term contract, which means actual orders may (or may not) be placed in increments going forward, and may (or may) not add up to $85.2 million in total value, eventually. In any case, the contract runs through April 18, 2016, so expect any sales Rockwell Collins does make to be spaced out over the next three years.

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