Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “As one of the top largest U.S. defense contractors, Northrop continues to enjoy strong presence in Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs. Moreover, its product innovation and focus on strengthening its ISR wing will help maintain a stable earnings stream amid the rapidly changing needs of the defense landscape. The company maintains a strong balance sheet and steady cash flow that offer substantial financial flexibility. Also, recent budgetary amendments made by the Trump administration have been in favor of defense biggies like Northrop. However, too much dependence on fixed-price contracts remains a concern for the stock. Moreover, higher operating expenses drag down Northrop's profit margin. Also the company underperformed its broader industry in past one year.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on NOC. Argus upped their target price on Northrop Grumman Corporation from $270.00 to $295.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on Northrop Grumman Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $279.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub lowered Northrop Grumman Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Vertical Research reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $296.00 target price (up previously from $280.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a conviction-buy rating and issued a $309.00 target price on shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Northrop Grumman Corporation has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $272.01.

Shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) traded up 1.09% on Tuesday, reaching $287.72. 618,558 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $269.39 and its 200 day moving average is $255.59. The firm has a market capitalization of $50.09 billion, a PE ratio of 21.98 and a beta of 0.66. Northrop Grumman Corporation has a 12-month low of $210.60 and a 12-month high of $287.81.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The aerospace company reported $3.15 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.84 by $0.31. Northrop Grumman Corporation had a return on equity of 39.22% and a net margin of 9.20%. The company had revenue of $6.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.21 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.85 earnings per share. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s revenue was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Northrop Grumman Corporation will post $12.55 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 28th were paid a dividend of $1.00 per share. This represents a $4.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 24th. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.56%.

In other news, VP Lisa R. Davis sold 367 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $263.25, for a total transaction of $96,612.75. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 961 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $252,983.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Concert Wealth Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation by 0.7% during the first quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. now owns 1,083 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $252,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation by 1.2% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 812 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $208,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the period. Cetera Investment Advisers boosted its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation by 0.8% during the second quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 1,278 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $328,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the period. Argent Trust Co boosted its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation by 0.7% during the first quarter. Argent Trust Co now owns 1,691 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $401,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Stockton boosted its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation by 0.9% during the second quarter. Bank of Stockton now owns 1,294 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $332,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the period. 81.37% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Northrop Grumman Corporation Company Profile

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global security company. The Company provides products, systems and solutions in autonomous systems; cyber; command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); strike, and logistics and modernization. The Company’s segments include Aerospace Systems, Mission Systems and Technology Services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)

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