October 24, 2007

Force Protection

Is a MF Rule Breakers Pick. Article from Zacks:

Force Protection is winning contracts left and right. It recently won the second biggest contract in its history. This is showing up in higher earnings. The company's second quarter beat expectations by almost 42%. Over the past month, next year's earnings estimates have risen seven cents to $1.53 per share. Analysts expect that earnings will soar over 151% next year. FRPT has no debt and a 17% ROE.

Full Analysis

Force Protection, Inc. (FRPT) and its subsidiaries engage in the manufacture of ballistic and blast protected vehicles. The company's products are used to protect personnel during transport, removal of unexploded ordnance, route clearance, humanitarian de-mining, and other missions that require protection from landmines and hostile fire.

Its products include The Buffalo series, which is designed for route clearing activities; and The Cougar series for troop transport, explosive ordinance disposal, command and control, artillery prime mover, recovery and ambulance duty, urban patrol, route clearance support, utility transport, and special unit activities. The company also offers The Cheetah series for reconnaissance, forward command and control, and urban operations.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it received a contract valued at $376 million to build 800 vehicles for the Marine Corps' Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program. The order for the four- and six-wheel Cougar model vehicles is scheduled to be completed in April.

They will be built by Force Dynamics LLC, a joint venture between Force Protection and a division of General Dynamics Corp. Force Protection Chief Operating Officer Raymond Pollard said the order was second biggest in the company's 10-year history.

The company reported robust second-quarter results in early-August. Force Protection said it earned $32.8 million, or 17 cents a share, in the second quarter, up from $10.2 million, or a penny a share, a year earlier. Net sales rose to $134.7 million from $56.1 million. Analysts expected 12 cents per share.

FRPT also sold 212 of its medium-size Cougar trucks, used for troop transportation. Altogether, the company said it produced 229 vehicles in the recent quarter, compared with 285 produced for all of 2006.

The U.S. military has said it wants to purchase thousands of these trucks -- better known as MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush-protected, vehicles -- to use in place of the more vulnerable Humvee. Recently, the Defense Department requested the transfer of $1.2 billion in existing funds for an additional 2,650 MRAP vehicles, bringing the total size of its order to 6,415.

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