Northrop Grumman Raises Forecast Following Q1 Earnings Beat (NOC)

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Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation ( NOC ) said Wednesday that its first quarter profit surged 21% from last year, and the company slightly raised its full-year forecast.

The Los Angeles-based company, which announced last week it would soon move its operations to Virginia, posted first quarter net income of $469 million, or $1.53 per share, compared with $389 million, or $1.17 per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales jumped 8.5% from last year, to $8.61 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a much smaller profit of $1.32 per share, on lower revenue of $8.07 billion.

Looking ahead, the company raised its full-year earnings forecast by 5 cents per share. It now expects 2010 EPS of $5.75 to $6.00 per share, up from a prior outlook of $5.70 to $5.95.

Northrop Grumman shares rose $1.78, or +2.7%, in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
We have avoided shares of NOC since our early June 2008 coverage began, when the stock was trading at $71.70. The company has a dividend yield of 2.56%, based on last night's closing stock price of $67.18. The stock has technical support in the $63-$65 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $70-$72 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

Northrop Grumman Corporation ( NOC ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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