Take off with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC): Get ready for trading

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) stock jumped 0.73% on Friday to $496.46 against a previous-day closing price of $492.87. With 1.2 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 0.72 million shares. During the session, the Aerospace & Defense company that operates in wider Industrials sector, reached to the highest price of $500.63 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $482.26. The 52-week range on NOC shows that it touched its highest point at $515.49 and its lowest point at $345.82 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $509.53. With its current market cap of 76.79 billion, NOC has annualized dividend of $6.92 while the current yield stands at 1.39%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.61.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of NOC was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 2.35%, but this was up by 2.81% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 8.82% while six-month performance rose 11.08%. The stock gained 42.45% in the past year, while it has gained 28.26% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for NOC yields 35.92 with Next year EPS estimates of 26.90. For the next quarter, that number is 6.12. This implies an EPS growth rate of 128.80% for this year and 8.75% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 6.10% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 30.90%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 155.40 million NOC shares are outstanding with a float of 154.37 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 1.72 million, which was 1.11% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Ms. Kathy J. Warden as the firm’s Chair, CEO & Pres, Mr. David F. Keffer serves as its Corp. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 84.57% of NOC’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 49.04% of NOC, in contrast to 34.91% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 3.18%. As the largest shareholder in NOC with 9.21% of the stake, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. holds 14,243,422 shares worth 14,243,422. A second-largest stockholder of NOC, Capital Research & Management Co, holds 12,280,616 shares, controlling over 7.94% of the firm’s shares. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in NOC, holding 11,467,635 shares or 7.41% stake. With a 3.35% stake in NOC, the Washington Mutual Investors Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 5,177,097 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.68% of NOC stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 4,144,371 shares valued at 1.98 billion. Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund holds 2.37% of the stake in NOC, owning 3,666,984 shares worth 1.75 billion.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for NOC since 19 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 8 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 7 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 3 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 1 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With NOC analysts setting a high price target of $560.00 and a low target of $411.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $505.18. Based on these targets, NOC could surge 12.8% to reach the target high and fall by -17.21% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 1.76% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. NOC will report FY 2022 earnings on 01/26/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $25.97 being high and $24.47 being low. For NOC, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $24.81. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Northrop Grumman Corporation surprised analysts by -$0.04 when it reported $6.06 EPS against a consensus estimate of $6.10. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.14. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $6.30 and the low estimate is $5.63. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $6.12.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded NOC stock several times over the past three months with 2 Buys and 8 Sells. In these transactions, 152 shares were bought while 6,990 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 49 while that of sell transactions has risen to 58 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 133,226 while 85,906 shares were sold.

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