Lockheed Martin shares close higher on Friday, company to participate in Japan’s new fighter jet project

According to a report by the Nikkei newspaper, Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) will participate in a project, led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and aimed to develop a new fighter jet. The aircraft will be put to service by the Japanese air force by the mid-2030s.

Lockheed Martin shares closed higher for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Friday. It has also been the sharpest single-session gain since November 24th. The stock went up 1.78% ($6.32) to $361.71, after touching an intraday low at $354.19, or a price level not seen since November 2nd ($350.76).

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation have retreated 7.11% so far in 2020 compared with a 13.39% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Lockheed Martin’s stock went up 48.71%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Lockheed taking part as a junior partner in the project had been anticipated since it had already proposed a hybrid design based on its F-35 and F-22 aircraft. The primary role in the program was awarded to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries by the Japanese Ministry of Defense in October.

Known as the F-3 or F-X, the new fighter jet is estimated to cost nearly $40 billion and will replace the F-2, currently used by Japan.

Several major companies have already expressed interest to take part in the project, including Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp from the United States as well as BAE Systems Plc and Rolls Royce Holdings Plc from the UK.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 20 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Lockheed Martin’s stock price, have a median target of $422.50, with a high estimate of $509.00 and a low estimate of $390.00. The median estimate represents a 16.81% upside compared to the closing price of $361.71 on December 11th.

The same media also reported that at least 12 out of 23 surveyed investment analysts had rated Lockheed Martin Corporation’s stock as “Buy”, while 9 – as “Hold”.

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