Northrop Grumman (NOC) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Zacks

Northrop Grumman (NOC Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $285.73, moving +0.6% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.92%. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.77%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.65%.

Prior to today’s trading, shares of the defense contractor had lost 4.57% over the past month. This has was narrower than the Aerospace sector’s loss of 6.97% and lagged the S&P 500’s loss of 2.56% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from NOC as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 24, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $4.38, up 55.32% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $8.11 billion, up 22.23% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $18.57 per share and revenue of $30.05 billion, which would represent changes of +39.83% and +16.45%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for NOC. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company’s business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 13.18% higher. NOC is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

In terms of valuation, NOC is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 15.29. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 16.58, which means NOC is trading at a discount to the group.

It is also worth noting that NOC currently has a PEG ratio of 1.1. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company’s expected earnings growth rate into account. Aerospace – Defense stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.51 based on yesterday’s closing prices.

The Aerospace – Defense industry is part of the Aerospace sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 42, which puts it in the top 16% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.

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