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

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Alliant Techsystems ( ATK) pushed the Aerospace/Defense industry higher today making it today's featured aerospace/defense winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Alliant Techsystems rose $1.91 (2.0%) to $98.39 on average volume. Throughout the day, 318,098 shares of Alliant Techsystems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 362,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $96.24-$98.55 after having opened the day at $96.70 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $96.48. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that increased today were: Astronics Corporation ( ATRO), up 3.6%, Ducommun ( DCO), up 2.0%, LMI Aerospace ( LMIA), up 2.0% and TAT Technologies ( TATT), up 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 56.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Alliant Techsystems a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 8 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 negative front, Taser International ( TASR), down 5.8%, Acorn Energy ( ACFN), down 4.6%, Astrotech Corporation ( ASTC), down 2.6% and Sifco Industries ( SIF), down 1.6%.

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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