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Morningstar’s Analysis

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Economic Moat


Capital Allocation


Attractive Medium-Term Cash Generation Prospects for BAE Systems; FVE Unchanged

Joachim Kotze Equity Analyst

Analyst Note

| Joachim Kotze |

Wide-moat BAE Systems experienced good growth in order intake for 2020, at 13%, bringing the group’s backlog to GBP 45 billion. Free cash flow of GBP 1.4 billion, excluding the GBP 1 billion one-off pension contribution, was a solid 60% increase over the previous year, well ahead of management’s GBP 800 million guidance at the first-half results. Revenue growth of 4% was accompanied by EBITA growth of 0.7%, hampered by underrecoveries in the defense business and lower demand from the group’s commercial businesses. Management is guiding for 2021 midpoint revenue and EBITA growth of 4% and 7%, respectively, while targeting GBP 4 billion of cumulative free cash flow (about 25% of current market value) over the next three years. The group’s broad exposure to platforms and geographies allows for stable and predictable cash flows underpinned by resilient defense demand and long-term multidecade contracts. We don’t expect to make any major changes to our GBX 570/$30 fair value estimate, which still reflects decent upside. A relatively secure dividend yield of 4.7% makes the stock particularly attractive to income investors.

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Company Profile

Business Description

BAE Systems is a British global defense company. BAE has a dominant position in the U.K., is a top-six supplier to the U.S. Department of Defense, and has a strong presence in key defense markets (eg. Saudi Arabia and Australia). Exposure to programmes is well diversified. BAE derives 45% of sales from services and support and 35% from major programmes such as the F-35 Lightning II and Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. The balance of sales is derived from electronic systems and cyber intelligence.

Warwick House, PO Box 87
Farnborough, GU14 6YU, United Kingdom
T +44 1252373232
Sector Industrials
Industry Aerospace & Defense
Most Recent Earnings
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2020
Stock Type
Employees 87,810