Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, despite being a prime defense project for the U.S. government, has been facing criticism for being overtly expensive, for past few years. The program representing a major portion of Lockheed Martin’s total sale, any decision to cut spending or reduce planned orders will have an adverse impact on its financial results. Moreover, a comparative analysis of the company’s historical EV/EBITDA ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture when compared with its broader industry. Its share price also underperformed the broader industry in the last one year. Also, the company’s limited commercial exposure and almost full government dependency may prove fatal in maintaining its margins and bottom line. Nevertheless, being the largest defense contractor in the world, Lockheed Martin witnesses strong demand for its high-end military equipments from both domestic as well as overseas market. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $263.00 price target on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a neutral rating and set a $300.00 price target (up from $280.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Argus reiterated a buy rating and set a $320.00 price target (up from $100.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BidaskClub upgraded Lockheed Martin Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, August 12th. Finally, Cowen and Company reiterated a hold rating and set a $310.00 price target (up from $295.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $312.73.

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) traded up 0.60% on Wednesday, hitting $316.46. The company had a trading volume of 857,932 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $305.97 and its 200 day moving average is $286.36. The company has a market capitalization of $91.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.36 and a beta of 0.59. Lockheed Martin Corporation has a 52 week low of $228.50 and a 52 week high of $316.46.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The aerospace company reported $3.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.10 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $12.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.43 billion. Lockheed Martin Corporation had a return on equity of 221.92% and a net margin of 10.37%. Lockheed Martin Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $3.32 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Lockheed Martin Corporation will post $12.64 EPS for the current year.

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Lockheed Martin Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, September 28th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the aerospace company to repurchase up to 2.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a $2.00 dividend. This is a positive change from Lockheed Martin Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.82. This represents a $8.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Saturday, September 30th. Lockheed Martin Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.52%.

In other news, SVP Maryanne Lavan sold 10,000 shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $290.11, for a total value of $2,901,100.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Brian P. Colan sold 350 shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $306.19, for a total value of $107,166.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 45,220 shares of company stock worth $13,293,563. 0.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Lockheed Martin Corporation Company Profile

Lockheed Martin Corporation is a security and aerospace company. The Company operates through four segments. Aeronautics segment is engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, sustainment, support and upgrade of military aircraft, including combat and air mobility aircraft, unmanned air vehicles and related technologies.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT)

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