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 up 0.4%. By the end of trading, General Dynamics rose $0.82 (1.1%) to $78.35 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,161,602 shares of General Dynamics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,169,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $77.77-$78.76 after having opened the day at $77.79 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $77.53. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today were: AerCap Holdings N.V ( AER), up 3.0%, CPI Aerostructures ( CVU), up 2.5%, Astronics Corporation ( ATRO), up 2.5% and L-3 Communications Holdings ( LLL), up 2.4%.
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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 $27.5 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 12.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate General Dynamics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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 good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, Frontline ( FRO), down 7.4%, Esterline Technologies ( ESL), down 2.6% and Astrotech Corporation ( ASTC), down 2.5%.

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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