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6 Defense Stocks Rising Above the Sequester

Strong earnings from sector show cost-cutting has been working

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Northrop Grumman

northropgrummanNext up, Northrop Grumman had a good day on Wednesday too, as it reported earnings of $1.97 a share on a top line of $6.29 billion, blowing away analysts’ estimates of $1.71 on revenue of $5.98 billion.

NOC, whose key defense programs include the Global Hawk unmanned drone, E2-D Hawkeye surveillance aircraft and high-test cybersecurity solutions, offset the pain of overall reduced Pentagon spending with better than expected performance in its aerospace division, where earnings surged 9%.

Northrop Grumman also boosted its full-year EPS guidance despite revising revenue slightly downward to $24 billion. Cost cutting is a huge priority at NOC, and the company has done a great job of raising profitability through layoffs and other measures.

Northrop Grumman also has done a solid job of generating cash, most of which has been distributed to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. Plus, at the end of last month, NOC had nearly $5 billion of cash on hand.

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