Northrop Grumman’s Q4 Profit Beats, but 2012 Forecast Misses (NOC)

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Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation ( NOC ) on Wednesday posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, but its 2012 forecast fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

The Falls Church, VA-based company reported fourth quarter net income of $550 million, or $2.09 per share, compared with $306 million, or $1.03 per share, in the year-ago period. Last year's results were hampered by several one-time items.

Revenue fell 5.8% from last year to $6.5 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a much smaller profit of $1.67 per share, albeit on higher revenue of $6.7 billion.

Looking ahead, NOC predicted full-year 2012 earnings would range from $6.40 to $6.70 per share, on $24.7 billion to $25.4 billion in revenue. Analysts are currently looking for $6.80 per share on revenue of $26.6 billion for the year.

Northrop Grumman shares were inactive in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Northrop Grumman ( NOC ) have a 3.45% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $58.05. The stock has technical support in the $53-$55 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $61-$63 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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