Northrop Grumman (NOC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday, November 9th.

According to Zacks, “Northrop posted encouraging third-quarter result, wherein both top and bottom line outperformed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Year-over-year results were also impressive on both ends. Further the raised guidance for full year buoys optimism. 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. Impressively, the company outperformed the broader industry in past three months. Also, recent budgetary amendments made by the Trump administration have been in favor of defense biggies like Northrop. However, higher operating expenses tend to drag down Northrop's profit margin.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on NOC. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on Northrop Grumman from $324.00 to $347.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $320.00 price target on Northrop Grumman and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Cowen restated a “hold” rating and set a $300.00 price objective (up from $275.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on Northrop Grumman from $255.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Bank of America set a $350.00 price objective on Northrop Grumman and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $294.65.

Shares of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) opened at $307.90 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $53,600.00, a P/E ratio of 23.07, a PEG ratio of 3.05 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.21. Northrop Grumman has a 52 week low of $220.72 and a 52 week high of $309.24.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The aerospace company reported $3.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.92 by $0.76. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 39.76% and a net margin of 9.24%. The firm had revenue of $6.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.33 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $3.35 EPS. Northrop Grumman’s revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Northrop Grumman will post 13.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Northrop Grumman news, VP Sid Ashworth sold 6,311 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $298.00, for a total value of $1,880,678.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 63,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,817,806. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Denise M. Peppard sold 5,037 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $295.67, for a total transaction of $1,489,289.79. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 58,186 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,203,854.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 21,417 shares of company stock worth $6,365,189 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in NOC. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman by 2,871.7% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,775,397 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $3,038,501,000 after acquiring an additional 12,345,491 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman by 41,518.7% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,919,969 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $749,585,000 after acquiring an additional 2,912,953 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman by 331.4% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 989,200 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $235,271,000 after acquiring an additional 759,900 shares during the period. First Eagle Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Northrop Grumman during the third quarter valued at approximately $198,126,000. Finally, Capital International Investors increased its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman by 29.4% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 2,274,928 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $654,542,000 after acquiring an additional 516,427 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 81.33% 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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