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 0.3%. By the end of trading, Northrop Grumman fell 66 cents (-1.1%) to $62.16 on light volume. Throughout the day, one 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 $61.86-$62.72 after having opened the day at $62.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.82. Other company's within the Aerospace/Defense industry that declined today were: Esterline Technologies ( ESL), down 3.1%, AAR ( AIR), down 2.8%, Edac Technologies Corporation ( EDAC), down 2.7%, and Aerovironment Incorporated ( AVAV), down 2.5%.

Northrop Grumman Corporation provides products, services, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services worldwide. Northrop Grumman has a market cap of $15.86 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.2, 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 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are two analysts that rate Northrop Grumman a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 14 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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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