News Article

Military Contractor Alliant to Buy Mission Research for $230 Million
Date: Jan 28, 2004
Author: Andrew Wallmeyer
Source: ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Mission Research Corporation of Santa Barbara, CA

MINNEAPOLIS -- Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) has agreed to acquire Mission Research Corp. for an estimated $230 million in a move to expand its traditional rocket and munitions business into the growing homeland-security market.

Alliant said Mission Research, headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif., anticipates current-year sales of $170 million to $180 million. Alliant recorded $2.17 billion in sales in fiscal 2003.

The company raised its fiscal 2005 sales guidance, now projecting a12% to 15% increase compared to its previous estimate of between 5% and 8% growth.

Alliant left its fiscal 2005 earnings guidance unchanged, however, at
$3.80 to $3.95 a share, saying it expects increased pension costs next year to offset gains from the addition of Mission Research, which it said will be accretive to earnings.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call, on average, expect the company to earn $3.91 a share on sales of $2.5 billion.

Alliant Techsystems expects the deal to close in March, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

As reported in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Alliant Chief Executive Dan Murphy said the technology the company is acquiring "will define the weapons beyond those on our drawing board."

The Journal said Mr. Murphy has adopted a contrarian policy of challenging larger defense suppliers with deeper pockets by focusing on emerging technologies.

Mission Research focuses on developing research and production programs involving specialized sensors, antennas, composite materials and various imaging hardware and software. It also is a supplier of high-technology surveillance systems installed on planes used for patrolling borders and customs interdiction.

-Andrew Wallmeyer; Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5400