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Northrop Grumman (NOC) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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Northrop Grumman (NOC - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $380.26, moving +1.49% from the previous trading session. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.19%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.31%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.08%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the defense contractor had gained 8.34% over the past month. This has outpaced the Aerospace sector's gain of 1.72% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.72% in that time.

NOC will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 30, 2020. On that day, NOC is projected to report earnings of $4.78 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 3.04%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $8.83 billion, up 8.24% from the year-ago period.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for NOC. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.33% lower. NOC is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that NOC has a Forward P/E ratio of 16.34 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 18.23, so we one might conclude that NOC is trading at a discount comparatively.

We can also see that NOC currently has a PEG ratio of 1.25. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. The Aerospace - Defense industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 2.33 as of yesterday's close.

The Aerospace - Defense industry is part of the Aerospace sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 116, putting it in the top 46% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.


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