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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Rockwell Collins, L3 Technologies, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - January 30, 2017 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL - Free Report ), L3 Technologies Inc (NYSE: LLL - Free Report ), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC - Free Report ), United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX - Free Report ) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT - Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Defense Stock Roundup: Q4 Earnings Beats at NOC, UTX, Etc.

With the Q4 earnings season picking up pace, this reporting cycle has so far portrayed steady improvement in the overall earnings picture. Also, this quarter is likely on track to record the best performance in the trailing eight quarters. Coming to aerospace and defense, the sector stands second to Finance in terms of positive growth.

Impressively, 85.7% of the aerospace and defense companies have posted a beat this quarter (as of Jan 26, 2017). Consequently, major indices for the Aerospace-Defense industry witnessed positive growth during the last five sessions. While the S&P 500 Aerospace & Defense (industry) Index gained 0.9%, the Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index inched up 1.9%.

Among last week's highlights, defense primes Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL - Free Report ), L3 Technologies Inc (NYSE: LLL - Free Report ), Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC - Free Report ), United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX - Free Report ) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT - Free Report ) reported an earnings beat.

(Read Defense Stock Roundup for Jan 20, 2017 here )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. Rockwell Collins reported financial results for first-quarter fiscal 2017 ended Dec 31, 2016. The company's adjusted earnings per share of $1.20 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.15 by 4.3% but slipped 0.8% from $1.21 earned a year ago.

The company's total sales were $1,193 million, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,204 million by 0.9%. Revenues, however, grew 2.1% year over year.

The company reiterated its fiscal 2017 revenue guidance at the range of $5.3-$5.4 billion. Total segment operating margin is still expected to be about 21% (read more: Rockwell Collins Tops Q1 Earnings, Keeps FY17 View ).

2. Defense contractor L3 Technologies posted fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of $2.38 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.12 by 12.3%. Earnings also improved 10.2% from the year-ago figure of $2.16.

Total revenue of $2.99 billion in the quarter surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.77 billion by 7.9%. Funded orders in the reported quarter totaled $3.58 billion, reflecting a 39.7% year-over-year increase.

L3 Technologies has raised its 2017 outlook. The company now expects earnings in the range of $8.40−$8.60 per share (versus the prior range of $8.15−$8.35) with revenues projected at $10,625−$10,825 million (versus the prior range of $10,475−$10,675 billion) for 2017 (read more: L3 Technologies Tops Q4 Earnings, Lifts 2017 View ).

3. Global security provider, Northrop Grumman reported fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of $2.66 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.49 by 6.8%. Excluding after-tax pension adjustments, earnings came in at $2.96, up 18.9% year over year.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Northrop Grumman reported total revenue of $6.40 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.91 billion by 8.3%.

Northrop Grumman expects revenues of $25 billion for 2017. On the bottom-line front, the company expects to generate earnings in the range of $11.30-$11.60 (read more: Northrop Grumman Earnings and Revenues Top in Q4 ).

4. United Technologies reported fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings (from continuing operations) of $1.56 per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Adjusted net sales for the fourth quarter were $14,659 million, compared with $14,652 million in the year-earlier quarter. Revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14,620 million.

The company expects adjusted earnings in the range of $6.30 to $6.60 per share on revenues of $57.5 billion to $59 billion. It reaffirmed its acquisition expectations at $1-$2 billion and free cash flow guidance at 90-100% of net income. (Read more: United Technologies Q4 Earnings Match, Affirms View )

5. The Pentagon's prime contractor, Lockheed Martin reported fourth-quarter 2016 earnings from continuing operations of $3.25 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.04 by 6.9%. Earnings also increased 23.6% from the year-ago level.

Total revenues came in at $13.75 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13.09 billion by 5%. The company's revenues increased 19.4% from $11.52 billion a year ago. Lockheed Martin ended 2016 (on Dec 31, 2016) with $96.2 billion in backlog, up 3.6% from $94.8 billion at 2015-end.

For 2017, Lockheed Martin expects to generate revenues in the range of $49.4-$50.6 billion. On the bottom-line front, the company projects earnings per share in the range of $12.25-$12.55 for 2017 (read more: Lockheed Martin Beats on Q4 Earnings, Backlog Rises ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Rockwell Collins, Inc. (COL): Free Stock Analysis Report

L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (LLL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC): Free Stock Analysis Report

United Technologies Corporation (UTX): Free Stock Analysis Report

Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT): Free Stock Analysis Report

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


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

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