Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday, January 12th. The firm currently has a $347.00 price objective on the aerospace company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 3.03% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “As one of the major U.S. defense contractors, Northrop continues to enjoy strong presence in Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs. The company maintains a strong balance sheet and steady cash flow that offer substantial financial flexibility. Also, recent budgetary amendments made by the Trump administration have been in favor of defense biggies like Northrop. During the third quarter, the company’s investments included capital expenditures of $650 million, up 6.9% annually. With the acquisition of Orbital ATK, Northrop will benefit from the former's rocket motors, missiles and electro-optical countermeasure product lines. However, higher operating expenses tend to drag down Northrop's profit margin.”

NOC has been the topic of a number of other reports. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $325.00 target price (up from $285.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on shares of Northrop Grumman from $324.00 to $347.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Northrop Grumman from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $317.00 to $355.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Vertical Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $296.00 target price (up from $280.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Northrop Grumman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $312.14.

Shares of Northrop Grumman (NOC) traded down $6.07 during trading on Friday, reaching $336.79. 1,123,752 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 794,741. The company has a current ratio of 2.35, a quick ratio of 2.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04. The stock has a market cap of $58,630.00, a P/E ratio of 29.36, a P/E/G ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 0.82. Northrop Grumman has a fifty-two week low of $229.51 and a fifty-two week high of $349.18.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The aerospace company reported $2.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.75 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $6.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.34 billion. Northrop Grumman had a net margin of 7.81% and a return on equity of 37.28%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.96 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Northrop Grumman will post 15.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Northrop Grumman news, COO Gloria A. Flach sold 7,741 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $296.45, for a total transaction of $2,294,819.45. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 77,200 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,885,940. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Denise M. Peppard sold 2,328 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $300.86, for a total transaction of $700,402.08. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 28,553 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,590,455.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. lifted its stake in Northrop Grumman by 12.8% during the 2nd quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 423 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 48 shares during the period. People s United Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Northrop Grumman by 9.2% during the 2nd quarter. People s United Financial Inc. now owns 475 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $122,000 after acquiring an additional 40 shares during the period. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in Northrop Grumman during the 3rd quarter valued at about $144,000. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC bought a new position in Northrop Grumman during the 3rd quarter valued at about $154,000. Finally, WFG Advisors LP lifted its stake in Northrop Grumman by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 594 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $152,000 after acquiring an additional 28 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.28% of the company’s stock.

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About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global security company. The Company provides products, systems and solutions in autonomous systems; cyber; command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); strike, and logistics and modernization. The Company’s segments include Aerospace Systems, Mission Systems and Technology Services.

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