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

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Northrop Grumman ended third-quarter 2018 on a solid note with both its top and bottom lines surpassing the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results were also impressive on a year-over-year basis. As a major U.S. defences contractor, the company continues to enjoy a strong presence in Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs. To further enhance its growth trajectory, in June 2018, Northrop Grumman completed the acquisition of rocket-maker Orbital ATK for $9.2 billion. Northrop looks ahead to benefit from this buyout by expanding its rocket motors, missiles and electro-optical countermeasure product lines. However, the company persistently incurs higher operating expenses as a percentage of sales. Economic and political factors are some of the major challenges to the company. Exposure to currency risk is another headwind. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry in the past year.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Citigroup lowered their target price on Northrop Grumman from $370.00 to $350.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 25th. ValuEngine cut Northrop Grumman from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday. Stifel Nicolaus set a $280.00 target price on Northrop Grumman and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on Northrop Grumman from $360.00 to $340.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, UBS Group began coverage on Northrop Grumman in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. They issued a neutral rating and a $315.00 target price for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $361.65.



Shares of NOC opened at $256.30 on Friday. Northrop Grumman has a 12-month low of $253.12 and a 12-month high of $360.88. The company has a quick ratio of 1.17, a current ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $46.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.30, a PEG ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 0.67.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The aerospace company reported $6.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.35 by $2.19. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 38.27% and a net margin of 9.62%. The business had revenue of $8.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.99 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $3.67 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that Northrop Grumman will post 19.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Northrop Grumman news, VP Sheila C. Cheston sold 10,440 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $320.00, for a total value of $3,340,800.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 43,696 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,982,720. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Wesley G. Bush sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $297.91, for a total value of $5,958,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 18,701 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,571,214.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 42,627 shares of company stock worth $12,994,907 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Bay Colony Advisory Group Inc d b a Bay Colony Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Northrop Grumman in the 2nd quarter valued at about $114,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 2nd quarter valued at about $115,000. Fort L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 2nd quarter valued at about $117,000. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC bought a new stake in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 3rd quarter valued at about $126,000. Finally, Kaizen Advisory LLC boosted its position in shares of Northrop Grumman by 156.2% during the 2nd quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 433 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $133,000 after purchasing an additional 264 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.69% of the company’s stock.

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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