Integrator stocks bounce

Integrators’ stocks have taken an undulating course in recent weeks.

ManTech International and SRA International are perfect examples. The companies were the biggest gainers on the FCW Tech Index from Feb. 13 to Feb. 27. ManTech’s shares rose 10.7 percent during that period, while SRA’s stock value increased 8.43 percent.

stocks Not too long ago, those companies were leading a different category. SRA’s stock suffered the biggest drop among companies on the FCW index in the first half of February, declining 7.21 percent. ManTech’s shares met a similar fate in the second half of January, dropping 5.99 percent.

A lag in contract awards, attributed to delays in the signing of key federal appropriations bills last year, contributed to the decline.

“The December quarter for companies out there has been generally lackluster,” said William Loomis, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. For example, SRA reported contract wins in that quarter worth $285 million, a tally Loomis described as much lower than SRA totals in other recent quarters.

“The company had a number of awards slip due to the budget delays,” states a Stifel Nicolaus research report published last month.

Integrators have suggested that funding will start to flow this month and noted that it can take 60 to 90 days for money to work through the federal procurement system. The Defense Department’s appropriations bill was signed Dec. 30.

Stocks will respond as award activity increases, Loomis said, adding that he expects contract awards to start picking up this quarter.

Signs of contracting life include SRA’s win of a $108.5 million information technology services contract with the Navy’s Military Sealift Command in February. SRA followed that deal this week with a Defense Manpower Data Center task order worth up to $17 million.

Recent ManTech awards include a $7.5 million contract with the Army’s Product Director for Intelligence Fusion. That deal was announced in February.

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