KBC Group NV lowered its stake in shares of Northrop Grumman Co. (NYSE:NOC) by 17.5% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 52,614 shares of the aerospace company’s stock after selling 11,139 shares during the quarter. KBC Group NV’s holdings in Northrop Grumman were worth $16,147,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in NOC. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. acquired a new position in Northrop Grumman in the third quarter worth $30,405,000. USS Investment Management Ltd boosted its holdings in Northrop Grumman by 7.0% in the third quarter. USS Investment Management Ltd now owns 27,500 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $7,911,000 after purchasing an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Shell Asset Management Co. boosted its holdings in Northrop Grumman by 9.3% in the third quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 42,114 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $5,549,000 after purchasing an additional 3,588 shares during the period. State Treasurer State of Michigan boosted its holdings in Northrop Grumman by 162.8% in the third quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 150,917 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $43,422,000 after purchasing an additional 93,500 shares during the period. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Northrop Grumman in the third quarter worth $3,433,000. 80.56% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Northrop Grumman Co. (NYSE:NOC) opened at $337.44 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.24, a current ratio of 2.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $57,917.20, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.40 and a beta of 0.82. Northrop Grumman Co. has a one year low of $233.20 and a one year high of $349.18.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The aerospace company reported $2.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.75 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $6.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.34 billion. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 37.28% and a net margin of 7.81%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.96 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Northrop Grumman Co. will post 15.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 21st. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 5th will be paid a $1.10 dividend. This represents a $4.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.30%. This is a boost from Northrop Grumman’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.00. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 2nd. Northrop Grumman’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.87%.

A number of research firms have commented on NOC. Argus raised shares of Northrop Grumman to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $394.00 price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman in a report on Friday, January 26th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $389.00 price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Cowen reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $300.00 price objective (up previously from $275.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman from $255.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $317.47.

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About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global security company. The Company provides products, systems and solutions in autonomous systems; cyber; command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); strike, and logistics and modernization. The Company’s segments include Aerospace Systems, Mission Systems and Technology Services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)

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