Lockheed eyes strategic alternatives for its IT unit

Lockheed says it may spin off or sell its IT services unit amid shifts in the cybersecurity market.

Lockheed Martin said Monday that it will review alternatives for its government IT and services unit.

Strategic alternatives typically means an acquisition, spin off or initial public offering of a division. Lockheed Martin said its review is likely to result in a spin-off or sale.

Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions unit has about $6 billion in annual revenue and 17,000 employees. Lockheed Martin is among the largest IT providers for the U.S. government and focuses on cybersecurity, analytics, cloud computing, health IT and biometrics.

The company said in a statement that it is looking at alternatives for its IT unit because the cybersecurity market is shifting quickly. As a result, Lockheed's IT business may grow more if it is separated from the mother ship.

Lockheed's move with its IT unit comes as it announced plans to buy Sikorsky, a helicopter maker, for $9 billion. The acquisition will focus Lockheed primarily on aerospace and defense.

For the six months ended June 28, Lockheed's IT unit delivered an operating profit of $296 million on revenue of $3.77 billion. Here's where Lockheed's IT business fits in with the rest of the company's businesses.