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Northrop Grumman (NOC) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Northrop Grumman (NOC) closed at $342.21 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.04% move from the prior day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.45% gain on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.49%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.67%.

Coming into today, shares of the defense contractor had lost 4.05% in the past month. In that same time, the Aerospace sector lost 5.32%, while the S&P 500 gained 2.44%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from NOC as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 30, 2020. On that day, NOC is projected to report earnings of $4.78 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 3.04%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $8.83 billion, up 8.24% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $20.38 per share and revenue of $33.96 billion. These totals would mark changes of -4.45% and +12.84%, respectively, from last year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for NOC. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. 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.

Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.02% lower. NOC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Investors should also note NOC's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 16.62. This valuation marks a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 18.06.

We can also see that NOC currently has a PEG ratio of 1.27. 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 2.11 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 36, which puts it in the top 15% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.

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