Industry Week in Review – January 11, 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced on Friday that it will launch a review of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner that will focus on the aircraft’s electrical system and manufacturing process quality controls.  The review is prompted by a battery fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 on the ground in Boston on Monday, an issue that was just one in a string of technical difficulties with the plane over the past week.  All Nippon Airlines reported that cracks appeared on the outermost layer of a cockpit window on Friday, and an oil leak was discovered on a different flight that same day.  Earlier in the week, All Nippon cancelled a 787 flight after a computer malfunction erroneously showed problems with the aircraft’s brakes.  On Tuesday, United Continental found a wiring problem with one of its Dreamliner’s auxiliary power systems.  FAA Administrator Michael Huerta noted that the FAA is confident the aircraft is safe overall, but the review was necessary to understand the recent pattern of malfunctions and help prevent them from occurring again in the future.

In other news, on Thursday Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued guidance authorizing preparatory spending reductions at DoD so as to better prepare for sequestration, if it were to occur.  Authorized actions include freezing civilian hiring, terminating temporary hires, curtailing administrative expenses, cancelling 3rd and 4th quarter ship and ground-depot aviation maintenance, and delaying R&D and production contracts and modifications that obligate more than $500 million.  The authorization memorandum instructs that all such actions must be reversible at a later date in the event Congress acts to avoid automatic spending cuts.

Big Movers

GeoEye (Up 12.2%) – Shares were up for the week after the Company announced on Wednesday that the Department of Justice gave DigitalGlobe antitrust approval on its acquisition of GeoEye, announced in July.

Innovative Solutions & Support (Up 8.9%) – Shares were up for the week following the Company’s announcement that it has been assigned a patent for a “method and system for reducing runway incursion at airports.”

Relevant Transactions

Greenwich AeroGroup to acquire Aero Precision Industries, a provider of OEM spares, repairs, upgrades, and modifications for military fighter, transport, and rotary aircraft, for an undisclosed amount.  The transaction enables Greenwich AeroGroup to expand its capabilities in the international military and government markets.

Vistronix acquired Technology Associates International, a provider of specialized geospatial and data visualization tools that serves the DoD, U.S. Strategic Command, and the Department of Health and Human Services, for an undisclosed amount.  The acquisition expands Vistronix’s solutions portfolio, helping the Company to position itself as a mid-tier prime contractor addressing the government’s security challenges.

ManTech International acquired ALTA Systems, a provider of IT and professional services with applications in Health IT and capital planning, for an undisclosed amount.  The transaction expands ManTech’s presence in the Federal HIT market, and enables the Company to deliver services through prime positions on the $4 billion Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Cervices Enterprise Systems Development contract vehicle.

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