Hexcel Corporation (HXL): Today's Featured Aerospace/Defense Winner

Hexcel Corporation ( HXL) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry higher today making it today's featured aerospace/defense winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Hexcel Corporation rose 18 cents (0.7%) to $27 on average volume. Throughout the day, 960,435 shares of Hexcel Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 902,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $26.44-$27.11 after having opened the day at $26.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.82. Another company within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today was Alliant Techsystems ( ATK), up 1.6%.

Hexcel Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of lightweight and high-performance composites for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense, and industrial applications. Hexcel Corporation has a market cap of $2.66 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18, equal to the average aerospace/defense industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Hexcel Corporation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hexcel Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation ( SWHC), down 8.6%, Ducommun ( DCO), down 4.3%, Sifco Industries ( SIF), down 3.7%, and Elbit Systems ( ESLT), down 2.9%, were all losers within the aerospace/defense industry with Honeywell International ( HON) being today's aerospace/defense industry loser.

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).