The U.S. defense industry is on track for one of its best years in recent memory.
The five largest U.S. defense contractors — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics — reported healthy financial results for the third quarter, in a series of earnings reports over the past week.
They benefited from a defense budget that has grown significantly under a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, as well as a 2017 tax overhaul that slashed their corporate tax rates.
“We’re seeing more and more signs of sustained long-term stable defense budget in the U.S.,” Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said Wednesday.
They have also taken advantage of a more stable budget environment that has made it easier for them to prepare for the future. Last year, Congress lifted the “sequestration” budget caps that have limited defense spending since 2013. For the first time in years, lawmakers passed their most recent spending bill without a “continuing resolution,” giving defense firms a better blueprint for their future sales.