Alliant Techsystems Inc (ATK): Today's Featured Aerospace/Defense Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Alliant Techsystems ( ATK) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry lower today making it today's featured Aerospace/Defense laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Alliant Techsystems fell $2.49 (-2.5%) to $95.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 393,829 shares of Alliant Techsystems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 329,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $95.58-$98.88 after having opened the day at $98.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $98.34. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that declined today were: Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation ( SWHC), down 10.2%, CPI Aerostructures ( CVU), down 2.0%, TAT Technologies ( TATT), down 1.9% and Sturm Ruger & Company ( RGR), down 1.8%.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. engages in the provision of aerospace, defense, and commercial products to the U.S. government, allied nations, and prime contractors. The company also supplies ammunition and related accessories to law enforcement agencies and commercial customers. Alliant Techsystems has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 58.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Alliant Techsystems a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alliant Techsystems 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, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Frontline ( FRO), up 6.6%, Curtiss-Wright Corporation ( CW), up 4.4%, DigitalGlobe ( DGI), up 3.1% and CAE ( CAE), up 2.0% , were all gainers within the aerospace/defense industry with Embraer S.A ( ERJ) being today's featured aerospace/defense industry leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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