NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Lockheed Martin (LMT) are falling, down 0.53% to $188.73 in early market trading Friday, following a ratings cut by analysts at Bernstein to "market perform" from "outperform" earlier this morning.
Analysts at the firm downgraded the stock on valuation, and set a price target of $208 on shares of the global security and aerospace company.
On Monday, analysts at Jefferies Group had raised their price target on shares of Lockheed Martin to $175 from $172.
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Lockheed Martin is engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and the sustainability of technology systems and products.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP (LMT) 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, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."
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 32.21% 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, LMT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP has improved earnings per share by 7.4% 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, LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP increased its bottom line by earning $9.04 versus $8.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($11.18 versus $9.04).
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $990.00 million or 10.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -10.92%.
- LMT, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Aerospace & Defense industry average. The net income increased by 1.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $873.00 million to $888.00 million.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: LMT Ratings Report