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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.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Government Tech Stocks: Don't Fear November

Washington D.C. - U.S. Air Force Captain turned stock analyst, Raymond James' Brian Gesuale keeps tabs on 14 companies selling technology or technology services to government agencies--military and civilian. One issue he's not too concerned about these days: McCain versus Obama.

"The general message we're putting out there is, 'Don't be afraid of politics and the election this year,' " he says.

That advice isn't for every defense investor, however. Gesuale thinks stocks of defense giants like Lockheed Martin (nyse: LMT - news - people ) or Northrop Grumman (nyse: NOC - news - people ), as well as companies who sell war "consumables" (ammunition and so on), could well get knocked around by electoral outcomes.

In contrast, Gesuale suggests the stocks he covers--small- and mid-cap technology concerns--likely stand only to benefit from a changing of the political guard. One reason is that these smaller players tend to suffer disproportionately from budget uncertainties. When Congress and the Bush administration battle over military spending priorities, as they did over supplemental war funding earlier this summer, the odds rise that money for new technology will get squeezed or cut.

Full story at Forbes.com