The best way I can characterize Lockheed Martin in one sentence is to say that they build a lot of stuff.

It was formed in 1995 as a result of the merger of Lockheed and the Martin Marietta Corporation.  Lockheed can trace its roots back to 1909 as a airplane construction company, and Martin Marietta was founded in 1961 (when the Martin and Marietta companies merged).

LM's main lines of business are Aeronautical Systems, Space Systems, Systems Integration, and Technology Services.  You would be hardpressed to find an airplane or space shuttle that didn't have at least a couple of parts designed or manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The United States Department of Defense accounts for roughly 50% of Lockheed's business, and NASA and other government agencies take another 22%.  The rest is split between commercial domestic and international customers.

Led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vance Coffman, Lockheed Martin is based out of Orlando, Florida, Bethesda, Maryland, and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; it also maintains 939 facilities in 45 states as well as hundreds of business locations internationally in 56 nations and territories.  LM employs approximately 170,000 people.

In the year 2000, Lockheed had sales surpassing $25 billion.  It was ranked 69th on the 2000 Fortune 500 list of largest industrial corporations.  It is traded publically on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LMT.

In October of 2001, Lockheed beat out Boeing for a $100 BILLION contract from the United States Department of Defense to be the primary designer and builder of the new Joint Strike Fighter, which is going to replace the F-16 and other aging fighter jets. This is the culmination of a 2-year effort on the part of Lockheed to turn the company around (the stock was trading in the mid-50s in October of 2001, compared to 17 dollars a share in mid-2000), and it looks like they have succeeded.

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