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More top-performing CAPS members are feeling bullish about Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) these days. They've upgraded the stock from the four-star rank it's held for much of the past six months to a more formidable five stars. A total of 1,048 members have given their opinion on Raytheon, with many offering analysis and commentary to explain their recent optimism.

Raytheon reported strong profit growth of 11% in fourth-quarter earnings, excluding discontinued operations and one-time items. That's a notably brighter outlook than Northrop Grumman's (NYSE:NOC) recent earnings announcement. The company expects higher earnings and sales for 2009 as well, and like Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), it has a huge backlog of orders -- in Raytheon's case, some $38 billion. Many expect defense industry demand to continue, helping companies like Raytheon, Force Protection (NASDAQ:FRPT), and L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL) profit from investment in infrastructure and defense projects.

Many CAPS members are bullish on the potential for an increase in Raytheon's international sales, too, since it has recently booked orders from the United Arab Emirates and India. Indeed, India is evolving into a major arms buyer, recently striking a deal with Boeing (NYSE:BA) as it aims to modernize its military. With new opportunities arising to sell arms and defense systems to other nations, investors see more opportunity for Raytheon to expand its backorder of lucrative projects.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about Raytheon -- and discover the other winning stocks they're picking -- head on over to CAPS and have a look. Unlike analysts' opinions, which are often reserved for paying clients, the community research and resources in CAPS are totally free.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his defense systems, but the kids have already developed a workaround to keep Daddy wrapped around their fingers. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. The Fool's disclosure policy was written on the side of a bomb dropped somewhere in the South Pacific, but the exact location is only given on a "need to know" basis.