Early Monday, President-elect Donald Trump sent out this tweet, critiquing the cost of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program:
By 12 p.m., Lockheed stock had fallen 4.3 percent, which CNBC reports is equivalent to about $4 billion in lost market value — or about $28 million per character in Trump’s tweet.
The stock recovered partially throughout the day, but still closed down about 2 percent.
The Department of Defense 2017 budget released earlier in 2016 anticipates the Pentagon will spend $10.1 billion on 63 F-35s of various models for the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, CNN Monday reported. With costs totaling an estimated $400 billion in the next few years, it is the Pentagon’s most expensive program and has been criticized by both Democratic and Republican members of Congress in recent years.
It is unclear how Trump intends to save money on the F-35 program, or why he chose to tweet about it early Monday.
Just last week, Trump’s Twitter bash of Boeing’s 747 Air Force One pricing caused $1.4 billion drop in Boeing’s market value. Boeing’s stock recovered.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Trump’s behavior is unprecedented.
“I mean the president … does he have the ability to say, ‘Listen, we’re going to take fewer product?’ He does,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” “Does he have the ability to say, ‘Listen, we don’t like these prices?’ Historically, that’s not what the president has done. People within the Pentagon have negotiated, but very high level.”
As for Lockheed Martin, F-35 program manager Jeff Babione told CNN Money Monday that he welcomes questions the President-elect may have about the program.
Despite Monday’s losses, Lockheed Martin is up more than 16 percent in 2016.
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