General Dynamics (GD): Today's Featured Aerospace/Defense Winner

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.

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 0.8%. By the end of trading, General Dynamics rose $0.94 (1.1%) to $88.07 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,208,528 shares of General Dynamics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,691,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $87.43-$88.33 after having opened the day at $87.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.13. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today were: Orbital Sciences Corporation ( ORB), up 6.8%, Taser International ( TASR), up 6.7%, LMI Aerospace ( LMIA), up 4.5% and Boeing ( BA), up 3.9%.

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 $30.3 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 25.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate General Dynamics a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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 solid stock price performance, 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, Air Industries Group ( AIRI), down 6.9%, Sifco Industries ( SIF), down 3.1%, Erickson Air-Crane ( EAC), down 2.8% and Astrotech Corporation ( ASTC), down 2.0%.

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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