Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC): 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

Northrop Grumman ( NOC) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry higher today making it today's featured aerospace/defense winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Northrop Grumman rose $0.71 (1.0%) to $71.49 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,082,871 shares of Northrop Grumman exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,898,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $70.66-$71.80 after having opened the day at $71.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.78. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today were: Hexcel Corporation ( HXL), up 7.1%, Innovative Solutions and Support ( ISSC), up 6.0%, Astronics Corporation ( ATRO), up 5.8% and AAR ( AIR), up 5.0%.
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Northrop Grumman Corporation provides systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical service areas to government and commercial customers worldwide. Northrop Grumman has a market cap of $16.7 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northrop Grumman as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Erickson Air-Crane ( EAC), down 6.4% and Astrotech Corporation ( ASTC), down 2.4%.

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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