Brown Advisory Inc. boosted its position in shares of Northrop Grumman Co. (NYSE:NOC) by 3.7% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 7,852 shares of the aerospace company’s stock after purchasing an additional 280 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Inc.’s holdings in Northrop Grumman were worth $2,492,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bay Colony Advisory Group Inc d b a Bay Colony Advisors acquired a new stake in Northrop Grumman during the second quarter valued at $114,000. Fort L.P. acquired a new stake in Northrop Grumman during the second quarter valued at $117,000. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC acquired a new stake in Northrop Grumman during the third quarter valued at $126,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in Northrop Grumman during the third quarter valued at $136,000. Finally, Sun Life Financial INC boosted its position in Northrop Grumman by 71.0% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 472 shares of the aerospace company’s stock valued at $145,000 after purchasing an additional 196 shares during the last quarter. 82.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Northrop Grumman stock opened at $257.54 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 1.17 and a current ratio of 1.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $43.38 billion, a PE ratio of 19.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 0.82. Northrop Grumman Co. has a 52 week low of $245.57 and a 52 week high of $360.88.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The aerospace company reported $6.54 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.35 by $2.19. The business had revenue of $8.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.99 billion. Northrop Grumman had a return on equity of 38.27% and a net margin of 9.62%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 23.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $3.67 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Northrop Grumman Co. will post 19.04 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 19th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be paid a $1.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $4.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.86%. Northrop Grumman’s payout ratio is presently 36.14%.

Northrop Grumman declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, December 4th that allows the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the aerospace company to purchase up to 6.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

NOC has been the topic of several recent research reports. UBS Group initiated coverage on Northrop Grumman in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $315.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northrop Grumman from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $352.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Wells Fargo & Co cut their target price on Northrop Grumman from $360.00 to $340.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $280.00 target price on Northrop Grumman and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Northrop Grumman from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $348.35.

In other news, VP Sheila C. Cheston sold 10,440 shares of Northrop Grumman stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $320.00, for a total value of $3,340,800.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 43,696 shares in the company, valued at $13,982,720. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Lesley A. Kalan sold 4,158 shares of Northrop Grumman stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $285.58, for a total value of $1,187,441.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 10,752 shares in the company, valued at $3,070,556.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 32,107 shares of company stock worth $9,521,827 over the last quarter. 0.62% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation operates as a security company for government and commercial customers worldwide. It provides products, systems, and solutions in autonomous systems; cyber; command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); strike; and logistics and modernization.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)

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