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Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) was upgraded by Zacks from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm currently has a $204.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 22.18% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are upgrading our recommendation on Lockheed Martin Corp. to Outperform from Neutral. Considering that the U.S. military budget is increasingly under pressure, Lockheed Martin’s better-than-expected second quarter results are commendable, and more so is its raising of the full-year guidance. Also, the company continued to generate strong cash from operations while maintaining its cash deployment strategy. Lockheed also got a boost from its recent decision to freeze its defined benefit pension plan, which will aid earnings over the long term. The healthy dividend yield and stable cash flow will likely keep the stock defensive in spite of the budget uncertainties. Lockheed Martin boosted its bottom-line forecast for 2014.”

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) traded down 1.89% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $166.97. 1,935,885 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Lockheed Martin has a one year low of $119.32 and a one year high of $171.36. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $163.4 and a 200-day moving average of $160.9. The company has a market cap of $52.596 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.38.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 22nd. The company reported $2.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.66 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $11.31 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.14 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.64 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Lockheed Martin will post $11.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, September 26th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 2nd will be given a dividend of $1.33 per share. This represents a $5.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 28th.

In other Lockheed Martin news, Director Daniel F. Akerson acquired 1,500 shares of Lockheed Martin stock on the open market in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 30th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $169.88 per share, for a total transaction of $254,820.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

A number of other firms have also recently commented on LMT. Analysts at Sterne Agee raised their price target on shares of Lockheed Martin from $8.00 to $164.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 23rd. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Cowen and Company raised their price target on shares of Lockheed Martin from $155.00 to $175.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 23rd. Finally, analysts at Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Lockheed Martin in a research note on Wednesday, July 23rd. They now have a $219.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $217.00. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $175.08.

Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of technology systems and products.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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