Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Raised to “Outperform” at Sanford C. Bernstein

Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report released on Monday, Benzinga reports. The firm currently has $386.00 price objective on the aerospace company’s stock, down from their previous price objective of $438.00.

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Barclays restated a buy rating and set a $455.00 target price on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research report on Thursday, January 23rd. TheStreet downgraded Northrop Grumman from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northrop Grumman from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $367.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 30th. ValuEngine upgraded Northrop Grumman from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Northrop Grumman from $449.00 to $380.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $380.40.

Northrop Grumman stock traded up $7.30 during trading on Monday, hitting $314.29. The stock had a trading volume of 1,061,451 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,268,246. Northrop Grumman has a 1 year low of $263.31 and a 1 year high of $385.01. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $329.16 and its two-hundred day moving average is $352.28. The stock has a market cap of $50.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.85 and a beta of 0.83.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 30th. The aerospace company reported $5.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $4.77 by $0.84. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 39.51% and a net margin of 6.64%. The business had revenue of $8.72 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.84 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $4.93 earnings per share. Northrop Grumman’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Northrop Grumman will post 23.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 24th were issued a $1.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 21st. This represents a $5.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.68%. Northrop Grumman’s payout ratio is currently 24.89%.

In other news, VP Mark A. Caylor sold 3,340 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $324.69, for a total value of $1,084,464.60. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 14,415 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,680,406.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CAO Michael A. Hardesty sold 209 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $365.28, for a total transaction of $76,343.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 4,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,605,770.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 20,987 shares of company stock worth $7,515,370. Insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NOC. Voya Financial Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Northrop Grumman by 2.6% in the third quarter. Voya Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 2,227 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $826,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. Redpoint Investment Management Pty Ltd increased its stake in Northrop Grumman by 51.4% in the third quarter. Redpoint Investment Management Pty Ltd now owns 11,440 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $4,288,000 after acquiring an additional 3,884 shares during the last quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC increased its stake in Northrop Grumman by 3.8% in the third quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC now owns 1,566 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $587,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in Northrop Grumman in the third quarter valued at $921,000. Finally, EP Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Northrop Grumman by 13.1% in the third quarter. EP Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 7,965 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $2,985,000 after acquiring an additional 925 shares during the last quarter. 83.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation, a security company, provides products in the areas of autonomous systems, cyber, space, strikes, and logistics and modernizations in the United States, the Asia Pacific, and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Aerospace Systems, Innovation Systems, Mission Systems, and Technology Services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)

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