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Loren Thompson: Huntington Ingalls Primed to Shine in Defense Sector

Analyst Says Shipbuilder Dominates 'Most Stable' Market

In an article for Forbes magazine published Monday, defense industry analyst Loren Thompson turns his lens on shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls and its place in the defense industry two years after its spinoff from Northrop Grumman into an independent business.

Thompson writes that Northrop, without realizing it at the time of the acquisition, bought a valuable franchise that was the Navy's sole-producer of aircraft carriers and the only maker of small aircraft carriers used by the Marine Corps.

Northrop acquired Huntington Ingalls from Litton Industries to gain new military electronic business lines and unexpectedly picked up the Western Hemisphere's largest warship maker in the process, according to Thompson.

Since 2011, Huntington Ingalls' stock has jumped 150 percent and its operating margin hit 6.1 percent in the first quarter, Thompson writes.

Huntington Ingalls is well-positioned to continue growing because it is the only maker of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and amphibious warships, which Thompson highlights as required tools for the Navy to protect sea lanes and deter aggressive tactics from adversaries.

The company will also produce bulk offerings for the Navy as the U.S. makes its strategic move to the Pacific, Thompson observes.

Additionally, Thompson points out that the military often looks to the original constructor, often Huntington Ingalls, to maintain the ships it builds and that presents an opportunity for additional contracts.

More Stories By Tim Watson

Tim Watson supervises all media production at Executive Mosaic, a digital media company that provides insight, information and analysis on several industries, including government contracting.

He previously produced byline coverage with the economics team at USA Today and evaluated lending proposals for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Tim was born and raised in Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business-Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a certificate in budgeting and finance from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Professional Education.

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