Prognosis '96 Defense

Positives

-- Consolidation moves forward: Look for at least one more mega-merger and continued capacity reduction.

-- Modest growth in the Pentagon's procurement budget is likely, while overseas sales could strengthen.

Negatives

-- Profit margins will be squeezed as stingier contracts kick in. The lucrative B-2 bomber and F-22 fighter programs may be stretched or killed.

PROGNOSIS '96--DEFENSE
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