NOC - Northrop Grumman Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
363.68
-1.54 (-0.42%)
At close: 4:01PM EDT
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Previous Close365.22
Open366.70
Bid0.00 x 900
Ask0.00 x 800
Day's Range363.21 - 367.50
52 Week Range223.63 - 377.34
Volume688,037
Avg. Volume785,500
Market Cap61.534B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.86
PE Ratio (TTM)18.84
EPS (TTM)19.30
Earnings DateOct 22, 2019 - Oct 28, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield5.28 (1.45%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-09-06
1y Target Est379.78
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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    Defense is defensive. And that makes defense stocks a perfect choice for the current climate. So says Goldman Sachs. Its chief US equity strategist David Kostin has just revealed that the firm is recommending aerospace and defense stocks right now. Indeed, the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA) is currently trading up 28% year-to-date. That’s versus the S&P 500’s 19% year-to-date gain, and 15% year-to-date return from the Dow Jones.“During the past 10 years, Aerospace & Defense has been least sensitive to US and global economic growth across Industrials subsectors,” Kostin stated. He notes that these stocks tend to outperform the S&P 500 when the economy narrowly avoids a recession. What’s more, these stocks have the added benefit of “the lowest exposure to China”- a key selling point given the ongoing US-China trade tensions. With that in mind, let’s now dive in to three top aerospace and defense stocks singled out by Goldman Sachs for “the lowest reported sales to Asia Pacific”: 1\. TransDigm Group Inc (TDG)First up TransDigm- one of the best aerospace stocks out there. The company is a leading supplier of highly engineered aircraft equipment found on nearly all commercial and military aircraft today. Boosted by a strong fiscal third quarter, shares are already rallying an impressive 60% year-to-date. TransDigm reported FQ3 earnings of $4.95 per share, sailing past the Street's $4.30 consensus, thanks to 11.8% organic sales growth. In addition, the company also announced a special one-off dividend of $30 per share. “TDG will still have sizable ($2-3B+) dry powder for M&A/special dividends after the $30/sh special dividend is paid circa 8/23” cheered Cowen Co’s Gautam Khanna on the news. “Management indicates an active M&A pipeline, but of smaller assets. Thus, we would not be surprised if TDG announces additional special dividends in F20” the analyst continued. Indeed, TDG has a pattern of cashing out on similar generous dividends, including a one-time $22 per share dividend in 2017. Meanwhile Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn noted encouraging progress with TDG’s integration of its $4 billion purchase of Esterline Technologies. “ESL begins to emerge from the chrysalis” the analyst wrote, adding “after the first full quarter of ownership, ESL [is] already tracking higher than anticipated, with revenues +9%.” As a result, Spingarn hiked his price target from $539 to $617. Similarly Goldman Sachs analyst Noah Poponak boosted his price target from $547 all the way to $623 on August 7. This Street-high price target indicates further upside potential of 21%. The analyst only recently reinstated coverage of TDG, citing significant recurring revenue, consistent and high margins, as well as strong cash generation and deployment. As we can see here 9 out of 11 analysts covering TDG in the last three months rate the stock a buy- hence the Strong Buy Street consensus. Meanwhile, the $588 average analyst price target translates into 15% upside potential. 2\. Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (HII)Welcome to HII- America's largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of services both the government and industry. Shares dropped 8.45% in August following disappointing Q2 results- but the Street is staying firmly onside. For instance, Alembic Global’s Peter Skibitski upgraded Huntington Ingalls to Buy from Hold on August 5, describing the weakness as a buying opportunity.Meanwhile, five-star Cowen & Co analyst Gautam Khanna reiterated his HII buy rating following earnings, with a $250 price target (16% upside potential). Execution concerns are fair but overblown says Khanna writing: “While execution has been choppy, it appears isolated to a few, idiosyncratic issues vs. a wholesale unwind.” In particular, a 1x item ($12MM forward loss at Technical Solutions) made up 40% of the 14% EPS miss.Looking forward the analyst believes there is cause for optimism, writing, “HII appears close to a shipbuilding margin uptick, and investor sentiment is awful, factors that keep us interested in this transitioning story.” For instance, management affirmed its 9-10% shipbuilding margin target in 2020, and indicated that this level is sustainable in 2021+. 3\. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC)With annual revenue in excess of $30 billion, NOC is one of the world's largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. And Goldman Sachs isn’t the only firm singling Northrop out right now. Shares popped 2% after Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani upgraded NOC from Hold to Buy, terming it the “best long-cycle play.” That’s with a bullish $418 price target (up from just $335 previously), indicating upside potential of 18% from current levels. In fact, year-to-date shares have already surged 45%. “We remain constructive on defense stocks and believe they are a good place to be,” the analyst told investors. Turning to Northrop specifically, he explained: "growing sales visibility through the mid-2020s from a two-year budget deal pairs well with [valuation] amid uncertainty." According to Lalwani, NOC is "the best way to play the long-term strategic priorities of the U.S. government." He sees accelerating NOC profit margins and sales growth driving better than expected earnings. "We believe NOC is well positioned given its longer duration capability and high-end technology focus, inflecting revenue and margins, portfolio shaping potential (via Technology Services), and an easing investment cycle that supports one of the highest FCF yields come 2021 at ~8%” the analyst wrote. Find analysts’ favorite 'Strong Buy' stocks with the Top Analysts’ Stocks tool

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  • 3 Defense Stocks to Toughen Up Your Portfolio
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    August was a tough month for stock investors - the S&P 500 dropped 2% for the month. The ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, and President Trump’s mercurial approach to diplomacy, put a damper on stocks exposed to the Asian import-export trade. In the bond markets, the yield curve inverted – that is, the 10-year yield dipped below the 2-year yield, indicating a lack of investor confidence in the short-term markets, but more ominously the inversion is considered an accurate long-range recession predictor.The upshot was increased volatility. The S&P 500 had its second worst month this year, with half of August’s trading sessions seeing declines in the index. In response, classic defensive stocks – such as AT&T (T) and Procter & Gamble (PG) – have seen gains as investors sought safe havens. Here, we’ll look at three such havens: defense stocks that are showing resilience in the face of current market conditions, and are attracting positive notice from the Street’s top analysts. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)Best known today for its line of military drones and the B-2 stealth bomber, Northrop Grumman has long been a mainstay of the US defense industry. It’s a quality business niche that has served the company well, and the most recent quarterly earnings bear that out. NOC reported a 9% positive surprise in EPS, showing $5.06 per share against the $4.64 expected, on $8.46 billion in quarterly earnings. Along with the strong earnings performance, the company pays out a regular dividend. While the yield is modest, the payment is high at $5.28 annually.After the earnings report came out, 5-star Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn was duly impressed. He raised his price target on the stock by 5%, to $385 dollars, saying, “The company has powerfully disrupted the low-growth bear narrative with Q2 results.” NOC shares have gained since Spingarn reviewed the company, and his price target on the stock suggests a 5% upside from current levels.NOC’s share price gains were pushed along by an upgrade from Morgan Stanley’s Rajeev Lalwani, who moved his position from neutral to buy. He wrote, “NOC is well-positioned in the market. Its focus on high-end technology and other favorable factors make it the best long-cycle play.” While Lalwani declined to set a specific price target, his “long-cycle” comment indicates high confidence in the company.Northrop holds a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, and a robust $364 share price. The stock's recent gains have pushed it right up to the $366 average price target, leaving only a small upside, the outlook remains bullish and current trends are positive. Honeywell International, Inc. (HON)Honeywell may not be a household name, but you have probably used some of their products. Among the company’s civilian-oriented products are such common appliances as thermostats and home security alarms. Honeywell’s aerospace segment is deeply involved in the defense industry, producing a wide array of component systems as well as several high-tech weapons and drones.All of this has provided returns for investors. In the July Q2 release, HON reported a modest EPS beat of 1%, showing $2.10 per share. Revenue just missed the expectation, due to several business spin-offs during the previous 12 months. The company’s organic business showed a 5% improvement. And in a move that keeps investors happy, HON continues to reliably pay out its 2% dividend. At the current trading levels, the annualized payment is $3.28 per share.John Eade, of Argus, sees strength in Honeywell’s position despite the revenue miss. He writes, “We expect momentum to continue as the company generates low double-digit earnings growth over the next 5 years. Honeywell stands to benefit from its diverse product lines, its strong presence in the commercial aerospace and commercial construction markets, as well as its mid-market product presence in China that is growing in spite of the country's infrastructure slowdown.” He gives HON shares a price target of $195, suggesting an upside potential of 19%.The analyst consensus on HON is a Strong Buy, based on 5 buys and 1 hold from the past three months. The stock is trading at $163, so the $187 average price target gives it a 14% upside. Note that even the low price target here of $177 is higher than the current share price. Boeing Company (BA)Boeing has been getting more than its share of news this year, and not all of it good. The company’s 737 MAX-8 airliner – the best-selling model of its best-selling commercial aircraft – remains grounded world-wide in the aftermath of two fatal air crashes. Boeing management failed to allay customer and government worries after the crashes, and while it reports that it has a fix for the airliner’s autopilot problem, it has yet to receive regulatory approval to make the upgrades.Even so, industry watchers see the company with a firm foundation. Its wide-body airliners remain in production, as do the F-15 and F-18 fighter programs. Boeing has committed to maintaining its high-paying dividend during these difficulties, rewarding investors for loyalty. That dividend, despite a modest yield of just 2.33%, pays out a high $8.22 per share annually.Boeing has shown strong recent gains in share price after Cowen’s 5-star analyst – and aerospace expert – Cai Rumohr reiterated his Buy rating on the stock. Rumohr notes that the company “has updated MCAS software and is developing software for the flight control microprocessor, and is also working in parallel with airlines and regulators on pilot workload issues.” He adds that the FAA could hold a certification flight for the 737 MAX as early as mid-October, which would speed up Boeing’s timeline on returning the airliners to regular service. Rumohr’s $460 price target on BA indicates a potential 29% upside.With all of the headwinds it has faced, Boeing’s analyst consensus remains a Moderate Buy. The stock has received 11 buy ratings in the last three months, compared to 5 holds. Its average price target is $425, which suggests a healthy 20% upside compared to the $353 current share price.Visit TipRanks' Trending Stocks page, to find out which stocks Wall Street's top analysts like today.

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