General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $188.00 target price on the aerospace company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 10.45% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “General Dynamics company boasts a strong position in the U.S. defense space and overseas. General Dynamics continues to witness strong order growth, procuring some pivotal contracts from the U.S. government and also from its overseas clients. Apart from solid demand for its varied defense products leading to organic growth, a notable acquisition strategy also adds to General Dynamics’ inorganic growth. Notably, General Dynamics acquired CSRA Inc. in April 2018 for $9.7 billion, and will now provide high-tech IT solutions to the government IT market. However, the company operates in a highly competitive market. The company also incurs high interest expenses. General Dynamics' shares also underperformed its industry in the past twelve months.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on GD. UBS Group raised their target price on shares of General Dynamics from $175.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Sanford C. Bernstein decreased their target price on shares of General Dynamics from $186.00 to $178.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $202.00 target price on shares of General Dynamics in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of General Dynamics from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $190.00 to $184.00 in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of General Dynamics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, February 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $197.82.

GD stock traded up $2.50 during trading on Thursday, reaching $170.22. The company had a trading volume of 9,682 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,388,595. General Dynamics has a 52 week low of $143.87 and a 52 week high of $208.88. The company has a market cap of $48.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.91, a PEG ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.82.

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The aerospace company reported $2.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.38 by $0.18. General Dynamics had a net margin of 8.68% and a return on equity of 27.62%. The company had revenue of $9.26 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.90 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.65 earnings per share. General Dynamics’s revenue was up 22.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that General Dynamics will post 11.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP John Patrick Casey sold 45,470 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.46, for a total transaction of $7,841,756.20. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 148,133 shares in the company, valued at $25,547,017.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Lester L. Lyles sold 4,580 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.42, for a total transaction of $789,683.60. Following the sale, the director now owns 12,314 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,123,179.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 64,690 shares of company stock worth $11,052,603. Corporate insiders own 7.10% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Virtu Financial LLC boosted its holdings in General Dynamics by 63.0% in the first quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 8,155 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $1,380,000 after purchasing an additional 3,151 shares during the last quarter. U S Global Investors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of General Dynamics by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. U S Global Investors Inc. now owns 15,151 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $2,382,000 after acquiring an additional 499 shares during the last quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of General Dynamics by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp now owns 16,406 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $2,579,000 after acquiring an additional 608 shares during the last quarter. Iberiabank Corp boosted its stake in shares of General Dynamics by 6.0% during the 4th quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 10,339 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $1,625,000 after acquiring an additional 581 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Miracle Mile Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of General Dynamics during the 4th quarter worth $241,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.41% of the company’s stock.

About General Dynamics

General Dynamics Corporation operates as an aerospace and defense company worldwide. It operates in five segments: Aerospace, Combat Systems, Information Technology, Mission Systems, and Marine Systems. The Aerospace segment designs, manufactures, and supports business-jet aircraft; and offers business-aviation services, including maintenance, fixed-base operation, government fleet, aircraft management, charter, and staffing services, as well as integrated aviation solutions.

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