Harris (HRS) Ships Largest Mirror for Ground-Based Telescope

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Continuing its rich legacy of designing high-end optical systems, Harris Corporation HRS recently delivered the largest mirror ever for a ground-based observatory in order to produce the deepest and widest views of the universe. The company is part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) team assembling the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) on the Cerro Pachón ridge in Chile.

Notably, the Harris-built secondary mirror for LSST meets challenging requirements. Harris is in charge of providing the 3.5 meter, 3,500-pound secondary mirror and related ground support equipment. It is also slated to deliver the cell assembly that stabilizes the mirror to offset the effects of gravity during operation, which is set to begin in 2022. While the mirror will enable scientists to take more than 800 panoramic images of the sky every night, the telescope will identify potentially hazardous asteroids and new solar systems.

The accomplishment marks the successful conclusion of a joint effort between LSST and Harris. LSST will conduct a decade-long survey of the visible sky, detecting billions of new objects and contributing to the study of dark matter and dark energy. The federal NSF investment will leverage Harris’ skilled Rochester workforce to bring the farthest reaches of the universe into focus.

Harris continues to be a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing innovative solutions. Its cutting-edge achievement will likely push scientific frontiers and enable new discoveries in space. The company supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries.

Harris offered an encouraging guidance for fiscal 2019 after an impressive performance in fiscal 2018 and accrued benefits from the new tax law. It expects revenues in the range of $6.53-$6.65 billion, up 6-8% from fiscal 2018. Earnings per share from continuing operations are anticipated between $7.80 and $7.90, up from the previous guidance of $7.65 and $7.85. We remain impressed with the solid growth potential of the company.

The stock has outperformed the industry with an average return of 1.1% compared with 0.1% rise of the latter in the past year.

Harris currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the industry are Comtech Telecommunications Corp. CMTL , QUALCOMM Inc. QCOM and Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. UBNT , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .               

Comtech has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 5%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, with the average being 136%.          

Qualcomm has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 11.5%. It beat earnings estimates in the last four quarters, the average being 18.5%.   

Ubiquiti has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 14%. It surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 11.3%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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