Susquehanna Bancshares initiated coverage on shares of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) in a report published on Thursday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage issued a neutral rating and a $273.00 price objective on the aerospace company’s stock.
A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on NOC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northrop Grumman from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $352.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman from $360.00 to $340.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $280.00 price target on shares of Northrop Grumman and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 25th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Northrop Grumman from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. Finally, Citigroup lowered their price target on shares of Northrop Grumman from $370.00 to $350.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Northrop Grumman has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $343.16.
NOC stock opened at $256.05 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 1.17. Northrop Grumman has a one year low of $223.63 and a one year high of $360.88. The company has a market capitalization of $43.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.28, a P/E/G ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.81.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 19th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 3rd were given a $1.20 dividend. This represents a $4.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 30th. Northrop Grumman’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.14%.
Northrop Grumman announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, December 4th that allows the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the aerospace company to repurchase up to 6.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, VP Lesley A. Kalan sold 4,158 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $285.58, for a total transaction of $1,187,441.64. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 10,752 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,070,556.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Wesley G. Bush sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $274.73, for a total transaction of $2,747,300.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 9,600 shares in the company, valued at $2,637,408. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 16,530 shares of company stock worth $4,588,557 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 13,591,668 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $4,313,588,000 after purchasing an additional 176,809 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 1.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,844,593 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $4,076,488,000 after purchasing an additional 125,967 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors grew its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 40.4% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 4,751,070 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $1,507,847,000 after purchasing an additional 1,367,045 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 15.0% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 4,716,917 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $1,497,008,000 after purchasing an additional 614,356 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors grew its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 67.0% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 4,525,421 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $1,436,233,000 after purchasing an additional 1,816,321 shares in the last quarter. 82.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Northrop Grumman Company Profile
Northrop Grumman Corporation operates as a security company for government and commercial customers worldwide. It provides products, systems, and solutions in autonomous systems; cyber; command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); strike; and logistics and modernization.
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