About

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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Beltway Tech Stocks: Bottom's Up?

Washington, D.C. - Working from BB&T Capital Markets' northern Virginia office, stock analyst Michael Lewis has spent the last six years building up a network of government and defense contacts.

"I tell investors that, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what our ratings are, what our price targets are," says Lewis. "Our value proposition to the investment community is what we're hearing at the Pentagon and on [Capitol] Hill."

At an event hosted last week by the National Defense Industrial Association, a trade group, Lewis heard from high-level budget personnel at the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps about their 2009 priorities. One conclusion Lewis drew from the event: Funding threats to information technology projects, which have dogged several big tech services stocks, may be diminishing.

Lewis tells us that none of the military's budgeters on the panel explicitly said cuts to information technology projects were off the table, but at the same event a year ago, there was talk of scaling back on technology in favor of immediate concerns (like fighting two wars). Not this year.

"[Information technology] wasn't even brought up," says Lewis. "That was very surprising."

Full story at Forbes.com