Launched on 05/01/2006, the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA) is a passively managed exchange traded fund designed to provide a broad exposure to the Industrials – Aerospace & Defense segment of the equity market.
An increasingly popular option among retail and institutional investors, passively managed ETFs offer low costs, transparency, flexibility, and tax efficiency; they are also excellent vehicles for long term investors.
Sector ETFs are also funds of convenience, offering many ways to gain low risk and diversified exposure to a broad group of companies in particular sectors. Industrials – Aerospace & Defense is one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification. It is currently ranked 12, placing it in bottom 25%.
The fund is sponsored by Blackrock. It has amassed assets over $4.77 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs attempting to match the performance of the Industrials – Aerospace & Defense segment of the equity market. ITA seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index before fees and expenses.
The Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index measures the performance of the aerospace and defense sector of the U.S. equity market.
Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive counterparts, other things remaining the same.
Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.39%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.
It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 0.95%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure which minimizes single stock risk, it is still important to look into a fund’s holdings before investing. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Industrials sector–about 99.50% of the portfolio.
Looking at individual holdings, Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX) accounts for about 21.44% of total assets, followed by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) and Boeing (BA).
The top 10 holdings account for about 71.97% of total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has lost about -0.06% and was up about 4.41% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 01/18/2023), respectively. ITA has traded between $91.19 and $114.11 during this last 52-week period.
The ETF has a beta of 1.04 and standard deviation of 32.90% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 39 holdings, it has more concentrated exposure than peers.
IShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF carries a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on expected asset class return, expense ratio, and momentum, among other factors. Thus, ITA is a good option for those seeking exposure to the Industrials ETFs area of the market. Investors might also want to consider some other ETF options in the space.
SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR) tracks S&P Aerospace & Defense Select Industry Index and the Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF (PPA) tracks SPADE Defense Index. SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF has $1.42 billion in assets, Invesco Aerospace & Defense ETF has $1.73 billion. XAR has an expense ratio of 0.35% and PPA charges 0.58%.
To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report