Reese: There's Value In Defense

Aerospace & defense stocks and those of other firms that rely on the government for their revenues are traditionally thought of as safe, defensive plays. Not today, however, with major budget cuts looming if Congress doesn’t address the nation’s deficit woes.

But Validea CEO John Reese says that’s not reason to avoid these types of stocks altogether. “With that [budget cut] threat looming, defense stocks are now being viewed as anything but defensive,” Reese writes in his latest Forbes column. “But keep two things in mind: First, the threat to profits for these companies is known; and second, investors have a penchant for overreacting to negative news. Because of that, some pretty bad scenarios have already been baked in to aerospace and defense firms’ numbers, as well as those of other firms that get a lot of their business from the government.”

Reese says that because of their attractive valuations, a number of firms reliant on the government for their business are rating highly on his Guru Strategies, each of which is based on the approach of a different investing great. With expectations so low, he says, the companies “don’t need to perform great for their stocks to make solid gains; for many, they just need to do ‘not that bad.'” He looks at a handful of firms that look attractive to his strategies, including Northrop Grumman.