It's been more than 300 years since warriors entering the battlefield habitually suited up in plate armor. But like hunting with crossbows, armour couture is making a comeback.
In the last couple of weeks, the U.S. Armed Forces allocated no fewer than three contracts to three separate manufacturers, each aimed at putting more protection between our servicemen and hostile fire. Last week, for example, ceramics specialist Ceradyne
Yesterday, it was General Dynamics
That's a lot of interest in armor. From an investor's perspective, the conclusion is obvious: Buying shares of these three armor manufacturers looks like a good bet.
Obvious, maybe, but obvious bets rarely result in surprising returns. Savvy investors might want to look at what's happening here in a slightly more expansive manner, by focusing on the common element of each of these contracts -- a desire to keep soldiers safe -- and what other companies might benefit from it.
Along this line of thinking, I see at least two other (publicly traded) companies well positioned to benefit from the military's growing desire to minimize casualties. In contrast to Ceradyne, General Dynamics, and Armor Holdings, each of which aims to protect soldiers from harm, firms like Northrop Grumman
As one of the firms partnering with lead contractor Lockheed Martin
Judging from the military's spending on body and vehicle armor over the past week, I'm thinking that's an idea with a future.
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