Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE: SAI), or SAIC, is a defense company with the 5th largest dollar volume of federal IT contracts. It manages networks, transfers information safely, and develops software to manage computer resources. It also provides consulting services for renewable energy projects. The company earned $10.8 billion in revenue and $497 million in net income in 2010.
National defense expenditure has more than doubled since 2001, spending that the War on Terror and the Iraq War have greatly influenced; since sales to the US federal government accounts for 87 percent of SAICs total revenue, this increase in spending has benefited SAIC.
With a significant portion (50%) of the government’s technology workforce soon to retire, SAIC also has the potential to benefit from the government increasingly outsourcing IT jobs to the private sector. Additionally, as consumers demand alternative energy sources because of high oil prices, SAIC's energy consulting business is poised to reap the returns.
Government (96% of Revenue) - Accounts for services to the US federal, state and local government agencies and foreign governments. Although SAIC does contribute to the US military and Department of Defense (DoD), it is also involved with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), intelligence agencies, and other domestic agencies. As a defense company, it provides night vision and communication capabilities. Additionally, it aids the Air Force train units worldwide via the internet. For domestic tranquility, it aids in anti-terrorism and DHS efforts producing vehicles that contain inspection systems for contraband detection such as the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, and develops software that assesses the effects which population, resources and infrastructure can potentially have through technological and natural disasters.
Commercial (4% of Revenue) - SAIC provides information technology services such as data management and software development; it can manage networks, transfer information safely, and if needed by the customer, develops software to manage computer resources. It advises on alternative energy sources by assessing risk and modeling energy-efficient programs, and many times serves as the leading project manager to implement such programs.
An overwhelming portion of SAICs revenue is generated from Uncle Sam, making it vulnerable to opportunistic budget cuts. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 there has been an upswing in government spending on national defense. The government plans to spend $663 billion on national defense in 2010.
Since SAIC is reliant on Uncle Sam’s wallet; if the government decides to alter or terminate any large contract, SAIC's growth will be hindered. Most government contracts are unfunded (orders for which funding is currently not contractually obligated by the customer), and so customers have the right to not exercise the contracts. Unfunded orders are common when governments are customers, as funding hinges on the availability of cash in budgets, as well as the risk of failure associated with many high-tech projects. About 70% of SAIC's backlog pertaining to government contracts are unfunded, a value of $9.7 billion. However, historical experience demonstrates that Uncle Sam likes exercising his contract options. For example, SAIC and Boeing are running a joint combat modernization program, called Future Combat Systems (FCS), worth $160B. FCS will provide unmanned sensors and robotics, along other high-tech equipment, to ground forces.
Increasing financial and environmental costs of fossil fuels are driving development of other energy resources, in particularly clean and renewable energy. SAIC provides energy efficient programs and consulting services on energy optimization. It assesses renewable energy sources and technologies to advice, assess risk, and model the best energy source for every customer. It provides its consulting services to communities or businesses wishing to decrease their dependency on fossil fuels, just as it did to a small Canadian community which now runs on solar energy; additionally, it advises government energy agencies and energy providers. Renewable energy composes less than 10% of all energy consumed in US. Consumption of renewable energy has increase in the transportation sector and residential sector. The fast growth of this emerging market means SAIC has the potential to grow, if it is able to keep up with technological progress on renewable energy.
With a significant portion of the government’s technology workforce soon to leave, the federal government has started to outsource jobs to the private sector. Since Uncle Sam is not able to compete with the pay and benefits that the private sector offers its employees, it is much more difficult to attract workers and keep pace with hiring requirements, especially for such highly technical positions.
The Global Information Grid (GIG), a U.S. defense project, is a global satellite network storing and transporting information to support all Department of Defense, national security, and related intelligence communities. Authorized users will be able to obtain secure and seamless information from the various operating locations (bases, camps, facilities, mobile platforms, etc.); it is a program valued at $34B. SAIC is ranked number 5 on the Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors, making it a top choice for IT outsourcing - and, potentially, a GIG contract. Projects like the $34B GIG, or the $454M Army National Guard and Reserves deal, in which SAIC will secure and warehouse information and provide a nationwide network of digital distance learning centers for military training, are contracts which SAIC must continue to capture if it wants to continue to grow.
SAIC competes with large defense contractors to smaller and more specialized companies. Just how SAIC wins contracts to be the lead company, there are times where it contributes or partners with other companies on a single contract. Many times it competes as a team with some of its own competitors for some of the larger contracts. A large defense contract worth $6.9B from the Air Force for spare parts is split between Boeing, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and SAIC.
These are smaller defense companies which compete and\or partner up with SAIC. The Air Force has awarded a $900M contract to six firms, which include SAIC and CACI, who will split the work of providing services to the Pentagon’s unit that controls nuclear weapons.