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Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC): Today's Featured Aerospace/Defense Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Northrop Grumman ( NOC) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry lower today making it today's featured Aerospace/Defense laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Northrop Grumman fell $2.82 (-2.3%) to $117.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,410,835 shares of Northrop Grumman exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,306,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $117.44-$120.68 after having opened the day at $119.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $120.32. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that declined today were: Erickson Air-Crane ( EAC), down 4.0%, Lockheed Martin Corporation ( LMT), down 3.9%, Orbital Sciences Corporation ( ORB), down 2.7% and Spirit AeroSystems Holdings ( SPR), down 2.4%.

Northrop Grumman Corporation provides systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical service areas to government and commercial customers worldwide. Northrop Grumman has a market cap of $26.5 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Northrop Grumman a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northrop Grumman as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Frontline ( FRO), up 4.3% and Micronet Enertec Technologies ( MICT), up 1.5% , were all gainers within the aerospace/defense industry with General Dynamics ( GD) being today's featured aerospace/defense industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the aerospace/defense industry could consider iShares DJ US Aerospace & Def Idx ( ITA) while those bearish on the aerospace/defense industry could consider ProShares Short Dow 30 ( DOG).

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