Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $377.00 price objective on the aerospace company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 3.23% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “As a major U.S. defense contractor, Northrop Grumman continues to enjoy a strong position in the Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs. Increasing international opportunities are expected to boost the company’s margin growth. Its product line is also well positioned in high priority categories, such as defense electronics, unmanned aircraft and missile defense, which nables the company to clinch notable contracts from Pentagon and foreign allies. Northrop Grumman outperformed the industry in a year’s time. However, it continues to incur high operating expenses on account of increasing product costs. Such higher operating expenses tend to hurt profit margins. A comparative analysis of its historical EV/EBITDA ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture that might be a cause for Northrop Grumman’s investors’ concern.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Sanford C. Bernstein lifted their target price on Northrop Grumman from $344.00 to $368.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 25th. Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Northrop Grumman from $300.00 to $364.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $405.00 target price (up previously from $355.00) on shares of Northrop Grumman in a research report on Thursday, July 25th. UBS Group lifted their target price on Northrop Grumman from $300.00 to $330.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Northrop Grumman from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Northrop Grumman currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $347.60.

Shares of NYSE:NOC traded up $6.37 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $365.22. 761,436 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 909,665. Northrop Grumman has a 52 week low of $223.63 and a 52 week high of $377.34. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.62. The company has a market cap of $60.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $361.49 and a 200-day moving average price of $313.26.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 24th. The aerospace company reported $5.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.64 by $0.42. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 42.21% and a net margin of 9.80%. The business had revenue of $8.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.41 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $4.50 EPS. Northrop Grumman’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Northrop Grumman will post 19.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Northrop Grumman news, VP Christopher T. Jones sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $353.19, for a total transaction of $1,765,950.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 67,422 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,812,776.18. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kathy J. Warden sold 6,837 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $353.46, for a total value of $2,416,606.02. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 99,002 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,993,246.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.45% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NOC. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $26,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 1st quarter worth approximately $27,000. Glassman Wealth Services increased its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 203.0% during the 1st quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 100 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $27,000 after acquiring an additional 67 shares during the last quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC acquired a new position in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $27,000. Finally, Meridian Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Northrop Grumman during the 1st quarter worth approximately $29,000. 83.11% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Northrop Grumman Company Profile

Northrop Grumman Corporation, a security company, provides products in the areas of autonomous systems, cyber, space, strikes, and logistics and modernizations in the United States, the Asia Pacific, and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Aerospace Systems, Innovation Systems, Mission Systems, and Technology Services.

Featured Story: Convertible Shares

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Northrop Grumman (NOC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)

Receive News & Ratings for Northrop Grumman Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Northrop Grumman and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.