Will This Upgrade Help Northrop Grumman (NOC) Stock Today?

Story updated at 9:55 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Northrop Grumman (NOC) was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" by Argus on Thursday.

Shares of Northrop Grumman fell 0.5% to $129.38 in morning trading.

The analyst firm set a price target of $145 for the aerospace company. Northrop Grumman can continue to exceed its earnings expectations, according to Argus analysts.

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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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP (NOC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 34.33% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NOC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP has improved earnings per share by 15.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP increased its bottom line by earning $8.34 versus $7.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.41 versus $8.34).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.58, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.25, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 74.39% to $572.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.45%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NOC Ratings Report

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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