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 closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Alliant Techsystems fell $4.68 (-3.5%) to $128.54 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 799,770 shares of Alliant Techsystems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 274,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $125.95-$133.45 after having opened the day at $133.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $133.22. Other companies within the Aerospace/Defense industry that declined today were: Frontline ( FRO), down 3.9%, Erickson Air-Crane ( EAC), down 2.9% and Air Industries Group ( AIRI), down 2.2%.

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 $4.3 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Alliant Techsystems a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Sifco Industries ( SIF), up 8.3%, Astrotech Corporation ( ASTC), up 7.5%, Embraer S.A ( ERJ), up 3.4% and Taser International ( TASR), up 3.3% , were all gainers within the aerospace/defense industry with Northrop Grumman ( NOC) 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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