Northrop Grumman’s Profit Rises, Beating View; Dividend, Buyback Raised (NOC)

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Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation ( NOC ) on Wednesday posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings, raised its dividend, and boosted its share repurchase plan.

The Los Angeles-based company reported first quarter net income of $530 million, or $1.79 per share, compared with $469 million, or $1.53 per share, in the year-ago period. Earnings from continuing operations were $1.67 per share.

Sales fell 2.6% from last year to $6.73 billion, as the company spun off some of its operations.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of $1.56 per share, albeit on slighlty higher revenue of $6.74 billion.

Looking ahead, the company boosted its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $6.50 to $6.70 per share, up from a prior range of $6.40 to $6.60.

Northrop also boosted its quarterly dividend payout by 6.4%, to 50 cents per share. That move marked the eighth consecutive annual dividend increase for the company. It also announced it would buy back up to $4 billion of its own stock.

Northrop Grumman shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Northrop Grumman ( NOC ) will now have a 3.20% dividend yield, based on the new dividend payout and last night's closing stock price of $62.49. The stock has technical support in the $58-$60 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $66-$68 price levels.

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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