Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued 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.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Argus boosted their price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation from $270.00 to $295.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Vertical Research restated a “buy” rating and set a $296.00 target price (up from $280.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $255.00 price objective (up from $245.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $325.00 price objective (up from $285.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation from $324.00 to $347.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $294.65.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) traded down $2.29 on Thursday, reaching $302.02. 463,771 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 772,940. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96. The firm has a market cap of $52,580.00, a PE ratio of 22.94, a PEG ratio of 3.03 and a beta of 0.70. Northrop Grumman Corporation has a 52-week low of $220.72 and a 52-week high of $306.61.

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

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In other Northrop Grumman Corporation news, COO Gloria A. Flach sold 7,741 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $296.45, for a total value of $2,294,819.45. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 77,200 shares in the company, valued at $22,885,940. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Denise M. Peppard sold 2,328 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $300.86, for a total value of $700,402.08. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 28,553 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,590,455.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 21,417 shares of company stock valued at $6,365,189. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation by 2,871.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,775,397 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $3,038,501,000 after acquiring an additional 12,345,491 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 purchasing an additional 2,912,953 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 purchasing an additional 759,900 shares in the last quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation during the third quarter valued at $198,126,000. Finally, Capital International Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 purchasing an additional 516,427 shares in the last quarter. 81.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Northrop Grumman Corporation

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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