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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Northrop Grumman

(

NOC

) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Northrop Grumman as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • NOC has more that 20x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 4.77 mentions/day.
  • NOC has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $164.2 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on NOC:

Northrop Grumman Corporation, a security company, provides systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical service areas to government and commercial customers worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2%. NOC has a PE ratio of 17. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Northrop Grumman a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Northrop Grumman has been 1.0 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Northrop Grumman has a market cap of $31.5 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and aerospace/defense industry. The stock has a beta of 0.55 and a short float of 1.5% with 2.99 days to cover. Shares are up 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Northrop Grumman as a

buy

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NOC's share price has jumped by 30.71%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NOC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.97, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.09, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to other companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.

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