Northrop Grumman Downgraded to Neutral at Zacks (NOC)

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Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) was downgraded by Zacks from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Friday. They currently have a $124.00 price target on the stock. Zacks‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 3.32% from the company’s current price.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We downgrade our recommendation on Northrop Grumman Corp. to Neutral from Outperform on account of the current sequestration wave that has impacted the company’s sales performance in the first quarter of 2014. However, top and bottom lines surpassed our expectation and reported earnings also improved from the previous year, due to declines in product & services costs and general & administrative expenses, along with a lower share count. Foreign military sales will prove to be the primary growth driver for Northrop Grumman as it will help offset the small-price domestic contract flows. The company’s constant product innovation efforts and diversified business operations will further create a stable earnings stream. Nonetheless, plummeting order backlog and ramp-down of military programs remain a concern. “

NOC has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research note on Tuesday, May 13th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at CRT Capital reiterated a “fairly valued” rating on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research note on Thursday, April 24th. They now have a $114.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research note on Thursday, April 24th. They now have a $128.00 price target on the stock. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Northrop Grumman currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $123.86.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) opened at 119.37 on Friday. Northrop Grumman has a 52 week low of $80.12 and a 52 week high of $126.00. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $120. and a 200-day moving average of $116.8. The company has a market cap of $25.561 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.44.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.15 by $0.25. The company had revenue of $5.85 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.84 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.03 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Northrop Grumman will post $9.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18th. Investors of record on Monday, June 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.33%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 29th.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) provides products, services, and integrated solutions in aerospace, electronics, information and services to its global customers.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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