Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, despite being a prime defense project for the U.S. government, has been facing criticism for being overtly expensive, for past few years. The program representing a major portion of Lockheed Martin’s total sale, any decision to cut spending or reduce planned orders will have an adverse impact on its financial results. Moreover, a comparative analysis of the company’s historical EV/EBITDA ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture when compared with its broader industry. Its share price also underperformed the broader industry in the last one year. Also, the company’s limited commercial exposure and almost full government dependency may prove fatal in maintaining its margins and bottom line. Nevertheless, being the largest defense contractor in the world, Lockheed Martin witnesses strong demand for its high-end military equipments from both domestic as well as overseas market. “

LMT has been the topic of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “neutral” rating and set a $300.00 price target (up previously from $280.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $265.00 target price on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $320.00 target price (up from $300.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $320.00 target price (up from $100.00) on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $289.00 target price on shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $312.73.

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) traded up 0.23% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $315.31. 417,471 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $305.54 and a 200-day moving average of $286.05. The company has a market cap of $90.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.29 and a beta of 0.59. Lockheed Martin Corporation has a 52 week low of $228.50 and a 52 week high of $315.72.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The aerospace company reported $3.23 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.10 by $0.13. Lockheed Martin Corporation had a net margin of 10.37% and a return on equity of 221.92%. The company had revenue of $12.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.43 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $3.32 EPS. Lockheed Martin Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Lockheed Martin Corporation will post $12.64 EPS for the current year.

Lockheed Martin Corporation announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, September 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the aerospace company to reacquire up to 2.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, insider Orlando D. Carvalho sold 8,870 shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $307.95, for a total transaction of $2,731,516.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 27,728 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,538,837.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Marillyn A. Hewson sold 26,000 shares of Lockheed Martin Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $290.53, for a total transaction of $7,553,780.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 45,220 shares of company stock valued at $13,293,563 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

About Lockheed Martin Corporation

Lockheed Martin Corporation is a security and aerospace company. The Company operates through four segments. Aeronautics segment is engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, sustainment, support and upgrade of military aircraft, including combat and air mobility aircraft, unmanned air vehicles and related technologies.

Analyst Recommendations for Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT)

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