Lockheed Martin (LMT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Lockheed Martin, being the largest defense contractor in the world, enjoys a strong demand for its high-end military equipments in domestic as well as international markets. Consequently, strong order growth has been a primary growth driver for this company. Lately, the company has been witnessing strong demand for its equipment, ranging from C-130J aircraft in France and Germany to helicopters in Poland to missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Middle East regions. It continues to be a strong cash generator, helping it to take important cash deployment decisions. However, it faces intense competition for its broad portfolio of products and services in both domestic and international markets. The company mostly it faces competitive threat from various smaller competitors, particularly in some of its services businesses. Its shares have also underperformed its industry in past one year.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. UBS Group started coverage on Lockheed Martin in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. They set a buy rating and a $400.00 target price for the company. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on Lockheed Martin from $340.00 to $368.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Cowen raised Lockheed Martin from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $370.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their target price on Lockheed Martin from $400.00 to $370.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein upped their target price on Lockheed Martin from $349.00 to $356.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Lockheed Martin has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $377.14.

NYSE LMT traded up $1.36 on Friday, hitting $327.62. 1,291,985 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,429,923. Lockheed Martin has a twelve month low of $291.52 and a twelve month high of $363.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $98.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.58, a PEG ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 1.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 28.14.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The aerospace company reported $4.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.92 by $0.39. Lockheed Martin had a return on equity of 944.31% and a net margin of 5.00%. The firm had revenue of $13.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.72 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $3.23 earnings per share. Lockheed Martin’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Lockheed Martin will post 17.21 EPS for the current year.

Lockheed Martin declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, September 27th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the aerospace company to repurchase up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 28th. Investors of record on Monday, December 3rd will be issued a $2.20 dividend. This represents a $8.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.69%. This is a positive change from Lockheed Martin’s previous quarterly dividend of $2.00. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. Lockheed Martin’s dividend payout ratio is 60.02%.

In related news, SVP Maryanne Lavan sold 7,250 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $323.64, for a total value of $2,346,390.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 9,869 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,194,003.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Marillyn A. Hewson sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $323.68, for a total value of $8,092,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 90,625 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,333,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Canton Hathaway LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lockheed Martin in the third quarter valued at about $104,000. FTB Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Lockheed Martin by 142.6% in the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 359 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares during the last quarter. Fort L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Lockheed Martin in the second quarter valued at about $116,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lockheed Martin in the second quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Quad Cities Investment Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lockheed Martin in the second quarter valued at about $131,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.84% of the company’s stock.

About Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Corporation, a security and aerospace company, engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of technology systems, products, and services worldwide. It operates through four segments: Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control (MFC), Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS), and Space.

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