Investors Sell Northrop Grumman (NOC) on Strength (NOC)

Traders sold shares of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) on strength during trading on Thursday. $55.50 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $84.00 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $28.50 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Northrop Grumman had the 11th highest net out-flow for the day. Northrop Grumman traded up $0.32 for the day and closed at $358.02

NOC has been the topic of several recent research reports. Jefferies Group upgraded Northrop Grumman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $400.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $389.00 target price on Northrop Grumman and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Barclays initiated coverage on Northrop Grumman in a report on Thursday, March 29th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $400.00 target price on the stock. Cowen restated a “hold” rating and set a $310.00 target price on shares of Northrop Grumman in a report on Thursday, January 25th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Northrop Grumman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Northrop Grumman currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $364.87.

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The firm has a market cap of $61,808.06, a P/E ratio of 26.96, a P/E/G ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04, a current ratio of 2.35 and a quick ratio of 2.24.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The aerospace company reported $2.82 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.75 by $0.07. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 37.28% and a net margin of 7.81%. The firm had revenue of $6.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.34 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.96 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Northrop Grumman will post 15.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 21st. Investors of record on Monday, March 5th were issued a $1.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 2nd. This is a boost from Northrop Grumman’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.00. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.23%. Northrop Grumman’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.13%.

In related news, VP Michael A. Hardesty sold 2,941 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $351.06, for a total value of $1,032,467.46. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 9,202 shares in the company, valued at $3,230,454.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Janis G. Pamiljans sold 1,568 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $354.30, for a total value of $555,542.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,677 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,365,661.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 9,299 shares of company stock worth $3,220,228 over the last quarter. 0.62% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NOC. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Northrop Grumman by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,545,765 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $4,157,331,000 after purchasing an additional 561,347 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in Northrop Grumman by 854.2% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 236,166 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $72,482,000 after purchasing an additional 211,417 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Northrop Grumman by 688.4% in the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 213,645 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $65,570,000 after purchasing an additional 186,546 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Northrop Grumman by 12.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,489,951 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $457,282,000 after purchasing an additional 160,259 shares during the period. Finally, Winslow Capital Management LLC raised its position in Northrop Grumman by 19.0% in the fourth quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC now owns 775,351 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $237,963,000 after purchasing an additional 123,528 shares during the period. 80.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation operates as a security company for government and commercial customers worldwide. It provides products, systems, and solutions in autonomous systems; cyber; command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); strike; and logistics and modernization.

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