L-3 Communications Holdings Inc (LLL): 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.

L-3 Communications Holdings ( LLL) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry higher today making it today's featured aerospace/defense winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, L-3 Communications Holdings rose 93 cents (1.2%) to $79.70 on average volume. Throughout the day, 610,871 shares of L-3 Communications Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 716,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $78.72-$79.74 after having opened the day at $78.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.77. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today were: Aerosonic Corporation ( AIM), up 5.7%, Innovative Solutions and Support ( ISSC), up 5.5%, Frontline ( FRO), up 3%, and Breeze-Eastern Corporation ( BZC), up 2.4%.
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L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. provides command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C3ISR) systems; aircraft modernization and maintenance; and government services in the United States and internationally. L-3 Communications Holdings has a market cap of $6.96 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is one analyst that rates L-3 Communications Holdings a buy, three analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates L-3 Communications Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, TAT Technologies ( TATT), down 3.8% and Sturm Ruger & Company ( RGR), down 2.7%, were all laggards within the aerospace/defense industry with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation ( SWHC) 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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