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

Northrop Grumman ( NOC) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry lower today making it today's featured Aerospace/Defense loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Northrop Grumman fell 41 cents (-0.7%) to $61.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.7 million shares of Northrop Grumman exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $60.91-$61.46 after having opened the day at $61.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $61.78. Other company's within the Aerospace/Defense industry that declined today were: Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation ( SWHC), down 14.7%, CPI Aerostructures ( CVU), down 6%, Ducommun ( DCO), down 5.9%, and Erickson Air-Crane ( EAC), down 3.3%.

Northrop Grumman Corporation provides products, services, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical service sectors to government and commercial customers worldwide. Northrop Grumman has a market cap of $15.57 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of eight, 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 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Northrop Grumman a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 13 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Sifco Industries ( SIF), up 6.5%, Taser International ( TASR), up 4.5%, Astrotech Corporation ( ASTC), up 3.4%, and LMI Aerospace ( LMIA), up 2.5%, were all gainers within the aerospace/defense industry with BE Aerospace ( BEAV) being today's featured aerospace/defense industry winner.

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).