4 defense stocks reporting earnings this week

Here's what to expect from each company.

By Stock Traders Daily Oct 23, 2012 10:35AM

Digital Vision., Photodisc, Getty ImagesBy Billy Fisher, Stock Traders Daily


Amid the flurry of earnings reports due out in the coming days, the largest defense contractors in the U.S. will be checking in. Earnings-per-share numbers are likely to be pinched with sales figures being relatively stagnant in the face of possible sequestration.

Here are four stocks for traders to take a look at:


Set for landing

On Wednesday, before the opening bell, Lockheed Martin (LMT) will unveil the results of its third quarter. The consensus among analysts is that the defense contractor will post earnings per share of $1.85 versus $1.99 in the prior year quarter. Total revenue is expected to drop by 7.8% on a year-over-year basis.


Lockheed shares are in a great place from a technical standpoint. The 50-day moving average has remained above the 200-day moving average for all of 2012 as the stock has advanced 14.8% on the year.


Also slated to report its third quarter results on Wednesday morning is Northrop Grumman (NOC). Wall Street is calling for the company to announce earnings per share of $1.69 versus $1.86 in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue is expected to slide to the tune of 4.1%.


Northrop shares got off to a slower start than LMT shares in 2012, but have since turned up the heat and are now up 20.2% since the beginning of the year. I expect the company to top estimates and the stock will continue to edge higher.


Dividend rich

Another heavy-hitter in the defense contractor space set to announce its third quarter results on Wednesday morning is General Dynamics (GD). Analysts are predicting that the company will post earnings per share of $1.78 versus $1.83 in the prior year quarter. Total revenue is expected to increase by 2.4%.


The tape on this stock has been underwhelming. GD share are up 1.1% on the year. I'm not expecting the company's earnings to have a significant impact on the stock price, but the 3.0% dividend yield is appealing. The stock is a sound play for income investors.


One other stock for traders to keep an eye on in the coming days is Raytheon (RTN). The company will release the results of its third quarter on Thursday morning. Analysts are expecting earnings per share of $1.27 compared to $1.43 in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue is expected to tick up by 0.5%.


The company has surprised to the upside in each of the last four quarters and it would not be surprising to see the trend continue. The 50-day moving average has held strong above the 200-day moving average for much of this year. I like the stock heading into earnings.


Ahead of earnings, Stock Traders Daily has prepared detailed trading reports for the companies mentioned in this article.

Oct 23, 2012 12:02PM

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