Northrop Grumman Co. (NYSE:NOC) Sees Large Decline in Short Interest


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Northrop Grumman Co. (NYSE:NOC) saw a significant drop in short interest in the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,210,000 shares, a drop of 16.6% from the March 31st total of 3,850,000 shares. Currently, 2.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,100,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.9 days.

Shares of NOC stock traded up $7.12 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $368.12. 1,113,459 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,130,483. Northrop Grumman has a 12-month low of $282.88 and a 12-month high of $368.51. The business’s fifty day moving average is $330.78 and its two-hundred day moving average is $308.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.36, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.36. The firm has a market capitalization of $59.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.69 and a beta of 0.75.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 29th. The aerospace company reported $6.57 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $5.48 by $1.09. The firm had revenue of $9.16 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.49 billion. Northrop Grumman had a net margin of 6.94% and a return on equity of 40.02%. The company’s revenue was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $5.48 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Northrop Grumman will post 22.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 1st were issued a dividend of $1.45 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 26th. This represents a $5.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.58%. Northrop Grumman’s payout ratio is currently 27.35%.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on NOC. Robert W. Baird downgraded Northrop Grumman from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $386.00 to $331.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northrop Grumman from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $375.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Northrop Grumman from $447.00 to $478.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday. Susquehanna increased their price target on Northrop Grumman from $350.00 to $409.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a report on Friday. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on shares of Northrop Grumman from $377.00 to $353.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, January 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $390.08.

In other Northrop Grumman news, VP Janis G. Pamiljans sold 801 shares of Northrop Grumman stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $295.80, for a total transaction of $236,935.80. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 12,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,687,442.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CAO Michael A. Hardesty sold 1,016 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $296.87, for a total transaction of $301,619.92. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 6,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,922,530.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 14,286 shares of company stock worth $4,294,598. 0.27% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 382.9% in the 4th quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,104,396 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $336,532,000 after purchasing an additional 875,705 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Northrop Grumman by 2,205.7% during the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 643,427 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $196,065,000 after acquiring an additional 615,521 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in shares of Northrop Grumman by 43.9% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,412,149 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $430,309,000 after acquiring an additional 430,661 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in Northrop Grumman by 300.2% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 509,900 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $155,377,000 after purchasing an additional 382,500 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its position in Northrop Grumman by 30.4% during the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,243,441 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $378,901,000 after purchasing an additional 289,553 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.65% of the company’s stock.

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation operates as an aerospace and defense company worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Aeronautics Systems, Defense Systems, Mission Systems, and Space Systems. The Aeronautics Systems segment designs, develops, manufactures, integrates, and sustains aircraft systems for strategic and tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions; and long-range strike aircraft systems, tactical fighter aircrafts, and airborne battle management systems.

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