General Dynamics (GD): Today's Featured Aerospace/Defense Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

General Dynamics ( GD) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry higher today making it today's featured aerospace/defense winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.4%. By the end of trading, General Dynamics rose 79 cents (1.1%) to $71.86 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.9 million shares of General Dynamics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.76-$72.01 after having opened the day at $70.78 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.07. Another company within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today was Erickson Air-Crane ( EAC), up 5.9%.
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General Dynamics Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, provides business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions; military and commercial shipbuilding; and communications and information technology products and services worldwide. General Dynamics has a market cap of $25.24 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate General Dynamics a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Dynamics as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Spirit AeroSystems Holdings ( SPR), down 4.1%, LMI Aerospace ( LMIA), down 3.5%, Aerovironment Incorporated ( AVAV), down 2.9%, and Taser International ( TASR), down 2.6%, were all laggards within the aerospace/defense industry with Boeing ( BA) 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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