Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC): Today's Featured Aerospace/Defense Laggard

Northrop Grumman ( NOC) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry lower today making it today's featured Aerospace/Defense laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.9%. By the end of trading, Northrop Grumman fell $1.18 (-1.4%) to $82.17 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,131,670 shares of Northrop Grumman exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,693,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $81.80-$83.24 after having opened the day at $83.08 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $83.35. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that declined today were: Taser International ( TASR), down 3.0%, Honeywell International ( HON), down 3.0%, B/E Aerospace ( BEAV), down 2.7% and Innovative Solutions and Support ( ISSC), down 2.7%.

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 $19.5 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 22.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Northrop Grumman a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 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 solid stock price performance, 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 positive front, Frontline ( FRO), up 8.9% and Sifco Industries ( SIF), up 2.6%.

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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