Shares of Force Protection, Inc. (FRPT) surged 42 cents, or nearly 10%, to close at $4.70 today after the maker of blast-protected vehicles announced two large foreign deals. The company received a $115 million order from the UK Ministry of Defense for the sale of 174 of its Cougar Mastiff vehicles, in addition to an order for six Cougar troop transport vehicles and four Buffalo route clearance vehicles from the Italian Ministry of Defense. Vehicle production for both orders will be performed at Force Protection’s Ladson, S.C. facility and is scheduled for completion this year, with spare parts and field support coverage continuing through mid 2009.
“We believe that this order further underscores a sizable international opportunity for our technology and our products,” Chairman Michael Moody said of the deal with the Italian Ministry of Defense.
And opportunity has been no stranger to Force Protection in recent months. Just last month the company announced that its joint venture with General Dynamics Land Systems, Force Dynamics, LLC, broke monthly vehicle production records in December 2007. Through the Force Dynamics joint venture, the companies produced 343 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Category I and Category II vehicles. All told, Force Dynamics has delivered more than 1,360 Cougar MRAP vehicles, the largest number of deliveries of any MRAP manufacturer.
While Force Protection has received orders from The Pentagon for an aggregate of more than 3,000 Cougar and Buffalo vehicles, the company says it remains focused on a long-term strategy of serving both the continuing needs of the US military and foreign military customers.
“We are proud of and grateful for our strong relationship with the UK Ministry of Defense,” Moody said in a press release Friday. “A successful sales effort to foreign military customers is an important part of our long-term strategy to fully leverage our position as the innovator and leading supplier of tactical wheeled vehicles and blast and ballistic survivability solutions, while ensuring a solid return on our investments in manufacturing capability.”
Let us hear your thoughts below: