L-3 Communications Holdings

(

LLL

) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry higher today making it today's featured aerospace/defense winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, L-3 Communications Holdings rose 49 cents (0.7%) to $70.35 on average volume. Throughout the day, 959,357 shares of L-3 Communications Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 706,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $69.21-$70.59 after having opened the day at $69.73 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.86. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today were:

Aerosonic Corporation

(

AIM

), up 5.3%,

Sturm Ruger & Company

(

RGR

), up 3.8%,

Moog

(

MOG.A

), up 2.9%, and

Triumph Group

(

TGI

), up 2.9%.

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L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. provides command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C3ISR) systems; aircraft modernization and maintenance; and government services in the United States and internationally. L-3 Communications Holdings has a market cap of $6.78 billion and is part of the

industrial goods

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.5, equal to the average aerospace/defense industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are two analysts that rate L-3 Communications Holdings a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates L-3 Communications Holdings as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

Teledyne Technologies

(

TDY

), down 3.2%,

Breeze-Eastern Corporation

(

BZC

), down 3%,

Orbital Sciences Corporation

(

ORB

), down 2.6%, and

Erickson Air-Crane

(

EAC

), down 2.5%, were all laggards within the aerospace/defense industry with

General Dynamics

(

GD

) being today's aerospace/defense industry laggard.

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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