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Lockheed Martin May Be a FCF Cow But the Company Should Consider Debt Reduction Over Share Buybacks

publication date: Mar 18, 2019
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Image Source: Lockheed Martin

Rebounding free cash flow generation makes dividend growth all the more likely going forward, even though Lockheed Martin’s large net debt load needs to be monitored at all times. If the company attempts to makes another splashy purchase, its balance sheet may take on more than it can chew if free cash flow isn’t swiftly allocated to bringing that burden back down. In 2017 and 2018, Lockheed Martin spent $3.5 billion repurchasing its stock. We argue that going forward, the company should start allocating free cash flow to debt repayment. As of this writing, Lockheed Martin trades decently above our fair value estimate, meaning the company would be buying back shares at what we consider premium prices.

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