There are very few industries which continue to grow at such a pace as the Defense and weapons detection technology industries. Due to the staggering spending that the United States government embarks on every year, it is probably the most stable industry in existence.
Security Deals Stateside
One of the biggest focuses, stateside, has been spending on weapons detection technology. This is now being done at a state level; not just a national level. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is partnering with Georgia-based Liberty Defense to test and promote a product that uses 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to detect concealed weapons on people in public spaces.
It just so happens that Liberty Defense is also publicly traded on the Canadian exchange under the symbol “SCAN.V“. The technology, as Liberty Defense has described it, appears to “strike the balance between privacy interests on one side and security and safety,” Reyes said. “Hexwave seems to be right in that sweet spot.”
According to Liberty Defense (SCAN.V), the agreement with Reyes includes the attorney general facilitating introductions between the company and prospective clients and advising interested parties on the potential uses of HEXWAVE. Park City police have had discussions with the company about testing it at the Sundance Film Festival.
Because the imaging technology identifies objects, rather than the people carrying them, Reyes said he believes it could be less invasive than, say, facial recognition technology or even driver license scanners.
The Military Force
The military force in the United States is one of the biggest employers in the world. Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent in order to keep it in the best shape possible. More importantly, the United States has the biggest Defense budget in the world and the government is projected to spend $700 billion this year alone.
However, unlike much other government in the world, the United States the lion’s share of its Defense budget in procuring arms, ammunition and myriad other products from domestic companies. With that sort of spending, much of the enormous Defense budget will be directed towards companies that are listed in the stock markets and perhaps present an interesting investment opportunity.
Defense Stocks & Recession
There are plenty of arguments that work in favor of the Defense industry and perhaps the biggest factor is that it is recession-proof. If there is a recession, then consumption will be reduced and many companies will suffer the consequences. However, the U. S. Government is not going to let up in any way when it comes to its Defense spending.
The best illustration of this phenomenon can perhaps be gleaned from looking at the figures back in 2008-09. While consumer spending nosedived by 8.2% and investment went down by 30.2%, amid the financial meltdown, the Defense spending actually rose by 12.2%. This is perhaps the clearest indication of the sort of stability that the Defense industry and by extension, the Defense stocks enjoy.
However, in addition to the fact that these stocks are extremely stable and continue to grow regardless of the state of the economy, most of the Defense stocks also pay handsome dividends. More importantly, the dividends are paid out in each quarter.
Some of the additional Defense stocks to watch include Lockheed Martin (LMT), Boeing (BA), United Technologies Corp (UTX ) and General Dynamics Corp (GD) among others. These companies get a major chunk of the U. S. Defense budget and also pay hefty dividends.