Welcome to HL's reimagined News, Insights and Research experience. Find out more

Share research

BAE - trading in-line with expectations

BAE is on-track to meet full year expectations...

No recommendation - No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Prices delayed by at least 15 minutes

This article is more than 1 year old

It was correct at the time of publishing. Our views and any references to tax, investment, and pension rules may have changed since then.

BAE is on-track to meet full year expectations, including sales growth of 2-4% and underlying operating profit growth of 4-6%.

The group said it was facing supply chain, delivery time and staffing pressures, but it's still offsetting the worst of the financial impacts. That's largely thanks to the long-term nature of its contracts.

BAE also commented it may see increased growth as its key customers respond to the "heightened threat environment".

The shares fell 2.3% following the announcement.

View the latest BAE share price and how to deal

Our view

Given BAE is in the defence business, the current crisis is having a positive effect on BAE's growth expectations, as it expects key customers to increase defence spending (more on that later). All-in-all, BAE is doing well.

The group's primarily in the business of manufacturing and delivering heavy duty military equipment - think fighter jets and aircraft carriers. A significant portion of existing defence contracts are deemed critical, and that gives BAE great visibility over its multi-billion-pound revenues. Now that the US and UK have confirmed their commitment to maintaining defence spend, that path is even clearer. Especially given the "increased threat" environment as BAE describes it.

The group's bought US-based Military Global Positioning System and Airborne Tactical Radio businesses. The GPS business, which protects against navigational interference, cost $1.9bn while the communications purchase was worth $275m. The two compliment the group's existing navigation and communication offerings and improved sales in the first half of the year. All of this makes the purchase a worthwhile endeavour in our view.

BAE's also in the process of beefing up its tech-heavy Cyber & Intelligence as technology continues to play a larger role in warfare. Cyber & Intelligence is responsible for just a fraction of BAE's total revenue right now, but could become a much more vital growth engine moving forward.

Cash flow has historically been a thorn in BAE's side, but we were pleasantly surprised to see continued progress. Working capital management coupled with strong profits means this is the second year running that cashflow is in the black.

Costs are facing pressure from supply chain disruption, but for now we're happy to give BAE the benefit of the doubt when it says it's offsetting the worst of the financial impact.

BAE's position as a critical defence supplier should continue to hold it in good stead. Reliable revenue streams are a very enviable asset in the current environment, and help underpin a prospective dividend yield of 3.5%. Please remember no dividend is ever guaranteed. Ultimately, we think BAE's in good shape to deliver on its long-term growth strategy.

BAE key facts

All ratios are sourced from Refinitiv. Please remember yields are variable and not a reliable indicator of future income. Keep in mind key figures shouldn't be looked at on their own - it's important to understand the big picture.

The author holds shares in BAE plc.

Trading Statement

BAE said order flow to-date has been positive, especially for longer-term programmes. Contract wins have included electric drive systems for new zero-emission capable hybrid transit buses in Philadelphia, an 11-year contract for support to the UK's RAF Hawk fleet, and a US Navy field support Cyber and Intel programme.

The group said: "many of the countries in which we operate have announced or are making plans to increase spending to counter the elevated and evolving threat environment on multiple fronts." This includes the US, UK and Europe. The Australia business is set to grow significantly.

In March, BAE acquired Bohemia Interactive Simulations - a leading developer of advanced military simulation and training software.

Find out more about BAE Systems shares including how to invest

This article is original Hargreaves Lansdown content, published by Hargreaves Lansdown. It was correct as at the date of publication, and our views may have changed since then. Unless otherwise stated estimates, including prospective yields, are a consensus of analyst forecasts provided by Refinitiv. These estimates are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Yields are variable and not guaranteed. Investments rise and fall in value so investors could make a loss.

This article is not advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment. No view is given on the present or future value or price of any investment, and investors should form their own view on any proposed investment. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication. Non-independent research is not subject to FCA rules prohibiting dealing ahead of research, however HL has put controls in place (including dealing restrictions, physical and information barriers) to manage potential conflicts of interest presented by such dealing. Please see our full non-independent research disclosure for more information.

Latest from Share research
Weekly newsletter
Sign up for editors choice. The week's top investment stories, free in your inbox every Saturday.
Written by
Sophie Lund-Yates
Sophie Lund-Yates
Lead Equity Analyst

Sophie is a lead on our Equity Research team, providing research and regular articles on a selection of individual companies and wider sectors. Sophie's specialities are Retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Aerospace & Defence as well as a few of the big tech names including Facebook and Apple.

Our content review process
The aim of Hargreaves Lansdown's financial content review process is to ensure accuracy, clarity, and comprehensiveness of all published materials
Article history
Published: 5th May 2022