I'll never forget my conversation with defense-industry leader Bob Beyster.
Armed with a doctorate degree and decades of experience, Beyster ranked as one of the U.S. defense industry's true visionary thinkers. That came through loud and clear when I interviewed him for Signal magazine back in early 1999.
Beyster could talk with ease about everything from the impact of the dot-com boom of the 1990s to the future of information technology at the Pentagon.
This University of Michigan-educated scientist was a walking, talking encyclopedia of global tech trends. He gave me loads of insight into the major shifts that would reshape our world far beyond defense - from changes in telecommunications to how the Web would slash business costs for thousands of global firms.
With fond memories of that chat, I have been a faithful follower of the groundbreaking company Beyster founded some 35 years ago.
I'm referring to Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC), now headquartered in McLean, VA.
Give Me the Right Stamp of Approval and Iâ€™ll Give You Your Next 319% Profit
At one time or another, I'm sure that we've all been outraged by stories of rampant government waste - especially in areas of aerospace- and defense-related research.
But today I'm going to tell you about a NASA-related tech program that led to a big payoff. In fact, investors who knew what to look for could've turned $10,000 into $41,900 - a 319% return - in just 29 months.
I'm relating this story for a couple of reasons. It shows you why I spend so much time looking at the research that's underway in labs at both the university and national level.
And it also explains why I write to you so frequently about cutting-edge science where I believe there's a big potential payoff.
My ultimate goal, you see, is to tell you about profit opportunities like this one before they occur.
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Will Egypt End the "Obama Arms Bazaar?"
While many investors are focused on the roles that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Twitter played during Egypt's recent turmoil, I immediately zeroed in on all the American-made military hardware that exists in that region - and began to analyze the risk that investors face if the U.S. defense industry quite literally bet on the wrong horse.
Between 2006 and 2009, we sold more than $50 billion worth of weapons systems and related hardware to Middle East nations, according to the Congressional Research Service. The value of annual military contracts in the region has quadrupled since 2000, according to CNN.com.
And it doesn't look like things are slowing down - at least, not yet.
For more on the "Obama Arms Bazaar," please read on...
Defense Suppliers Compete for a Piece of Indiaâ€™s Multibillion-Dollar Military Revamp
The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is in talks with India for a $5.8 billion military aircraft deal as the country triples its defense budget, leading defense suppliers to compete for a piece of the multibillion-dollar action.
India is negotiating with Boeing over the purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, which would be the largest defense order from India for Boeing, the second-largest U.S. defense contractor. India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in February the government would spend $33 billion on defense in the fiscal year starting April 1.
The Asian country's "defense procurement budget is quite huge," Laxman Kumar Behera, a research fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, told Bloomberg. "The U.S. arms industry has become quite interested in the Indian defense market."
Boeing expects to bid for as much as $31 billion of military contracts in the next 10 years as India looks to replace aging Russian-made equipment.
Obama Deficit Brings Us Closer to the Brink of National Bankruptcy
U.S. President Barack Obama's budget for 2011, presented on Monday, shows a deficit of $1.3 trillion for the fiscal year that ends that September. That shortfall is actually $287 billion more than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had projected less than a week earlier, when it had released a budget forecast of its own for that same fiscal year.
Granted, we're getting used to seeing budget deficits expand at a pretty quick pace these days. But even by government standards an increase of nearly $290 billion in less than a week is almost too much to bear!
All kidding aside, $105 billion of this $287 billion increase came about mostly because of a change in "assumptions." The CBO budget assumed that all the 2001 Bush tax cuts would be reversed, whereas the Obama budget reverses only those that applied to the rich (those with incomes above $250,000).
The CBO budget also made the ridiculous assumption that the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) would be allowed to revert to its 2001 level, forcing 25 million taxpayers to calculate their taxes twice - and to then pay the higher of the two estimates. That was never going to happen, and the Obama budget finally abandons that idiotic piece of fiction.
The disparity in deficit projections between the CBO and the Obama administration weren't limited just to fiscal 2011. For the period from 2011 to 2020, the CBO forecasted a budget deficit of $6.047 trillion, while the Obama budget released just days later projected a shortfall of $8.532 trillion - a difference of $2.485 trillion.
The difference in assumptions between the CBO and Obama projections explains nearly half of that difference. Of course, that still leaves the other half.
And a troublesome half it is.
To find out how these numbers may forecast a U.S. bankruptcy, read on...
Obama's Budget Adds $1 Trillion in Taxes, Balloons Federal Deficit
President Barack Obama yesterday (Monday) unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget proposal that includes big tax increases on individuals and businesses, and expands the federal deficit by more than $5.5 trillion by the end of the decade, including a record $1.6 trillion next year.
The budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 reflects the administration's struggle to find a balance between containing the spiraling federal deficit with the need to boost the economy and create jobs - both of which figure to be political bombshells in the upcoming 2010 elections.
"We're trying to accomplish a soft landing in terms of our fiscal trajectory," Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said at a press briefing.
But the budget is certain to add fuel to the debate over the size and scope of government. As expected, Republicans railed against the administration's big spending programs and tax increases.
Boeing Refurbishes 500th Super Hornet Fighter Jet, Makes Plans for Looming Dubai Air Show
By William Patalon III Managing Editor Money Morning The Boeing Co. (BA) announced that it's delivered its 500th modified F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter-bomber to the U.S. Navy from the company's Aerospace Support Center at Cecil Commerce Center, located near Jacksonville, Fla. Boeing also detailed its plans for the upcoming Dubai Air Show, which opens [...]
U.N. Awards Defense Firm Lockheed Martin $250 Million Contract in Darfur
From Staff Reports The United Nations awarded defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) a $250 million contract to build five new camps in Sudan's civil-war-ravaged Darfur region, and in the neighboring Kordofan regions for 4,100 U.N. and African Union personnel, The Associated Press reported yesterday (Tuesday). Specifically, the six-month contract was awarded to California-based Pacific [...]
Aluminum Giant Alcoa Awarded Major Parts Contract for New Stealth Jet
By William Patalon III Managing Editor Money Morning/The Money Map Report Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., (LMT) has awarded aluminum giant Alcoa Inc.(AA) a $360 million contract to supply special castings for the special new stealth fighter jet known as the ‘Joint Strike Fighter.' The U.S. military will use the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II [...]
U.S. Officials Question Whether 3Com Deal Gives Defense Secrets To China
From Staff Reports China's No. 1 network-equipment maker – a firm alleged to have ties to Beijing's military, as well as past links to Saddam Hussein and the Taliban in Afghanistan – could gain access to U.S. defense-network technology in the proposed buyout of 3Com Corp. (COMS), the Washington Times newspaper reported yesterday (Wednesday). 3Com [...]