Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $325.00 price objective on the aerospace company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Lockheed Martin’s second-quarter results have comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both the top- and bottom-line fronts. Year-over-year results were also impressive on both fronts. However, backlog dropped year-over-year. In particular Aeronautics segment posted a strong, double-digit growth, which, in turn, boosted the company’s sales. The increased outlook for 2017 also buoyed optimism. Moreover, being the largest defense contractor in the world, Lockheed Martin continues to be a strong cash generator. The recently passed defense policy bill for 2018, with a promise of $696 billion budget, is also expected to boost growth of defense primes like Lockheed Martin. However, a comparative analysis of the company’s historical EV/EBITDA ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture when compared with its broader industry.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on LMT. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a hold rating on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $240.00 target price on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a report on Friday, July 14th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $320.00 price objective (up from $300.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Argus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $320.00 price objective (up from $100.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $300.00 price objective (up from $280.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lockheed Martin Corporation currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $286.10.

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE LMT) opened at 290.41 on Thursday. Lockheed Martin Corporation has a 52 week low of $228.50 and a 52 week high of $292.97. The firm has a market cap of $83.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.85 and a beta of 0.60. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $283.70 and a 200 day moving average of $271.37.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The aerospace company reported $3.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.10 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $12.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.43 billion. Lockheed Martin Corporation had a return on equity of 221.92% and a net margin of 10.37%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $3.32 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Lockheed Martin Corporation will post $12.65 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $1.82 per share. This represents a $7.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.51%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. Lockheed Martin Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.52%.

In other news, Chairman Marillyn A. Hewson sold 26,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $290.53, for a total transaction of $7,553,780.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Maryanne Lavan sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

About Lockheed Martin Corporation

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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