Donald Trump wipes $3.5bn off Lockheed Martin market value with single tweet

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US President-elect Donald Trump has sent another stock reeling into the red.
Barely a week after taking shots at Boeing, Donald Trump took aim at Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet programme, saying the cost was "out of control". 
"The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th," Mr Trump said.
Following the tweet on Monday morning, shares of the aerospace company plunged by more than 4 per cent in early trade. 
Based on the number of shares outstanding, the tweet has shaved just over $3.5bn from Lockheed's market value. 
Shares of the New York-listed company fell by more than 5 per cent by midday on Monday, and had not fully recovered by market close. By 4pm Eastern Time, the share price had only bounced back half way by about 2.5 per cent.
The President-elect's comment has also had a knock-on for other companies involved in the project, which is worth up to $400bn over the contract's duration.
Shares in Northrop Gumman were down 4 per cent, while Britain's BAE Systems saw its stock slip 1.3 per cent after Mr Trump's tweet. Neither of those companies' share prices have recovered throughout Monday.
 
Mr Trump's latest twitter firestorm comes just one week after he used the same social media platform to take aim at Boeing over costs for the replacement Air Force One.
Boeing fell by 1.5 per cent after the tweet but ended the trading day positive.
Although Lockheed's dip is temporary, it is a reminder of investors' knee-jerk reaction when the President-elect expresses his views on a company. His tweet is also a cause for concern in the longer term, as the anticipated increase in defence spending in 2017 may not be as lucrative to contractors as they had hoped.
A Lockheed Martin executive responded to Mr Trump’s attack, insisting that the company has taken steps to cut costs.
"Since the beginning, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the price of the airplane by about 70 per cent since its original costing, and we project it to be about £85m in the 2019 or 2020 time frame”, said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 programme leader. 
A week before Mr Trump won the presidential election, the US Defence Department and Lockheed Martin concluded their 14-month negotiations on their ninth contract for F-35 fighter jets.
The F-35 Lightining II is meant to become the next leading-edge platform for the US Air Force, Navy and Marines, as well for the armed forces of nearly 10 US allies, including the UK, Netherlands and Australia.
Last week, the President-elect critcised Boeing by claiming the total cost of Boeing's 747 Air Force One programme would be more than $4bn. 
On Twitter, he said: "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!"
The aircraft manufacturer took a $1.4bn hit to its market value.
In response to Mr Trump's tweet, Boeing said that its current contract with the Air Force is actually for $170m.

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