General Dynamics (GD) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of General Dynamics underperformed its industry in the last one year. Moreover, a comparative analysis of the company’s historical EV/EBITDA ratio reflects a relatively gloomy picture that might be a cause for investors’ concern. The company also operates in a highly competitive market with some competitors having extensive or specialized business segments, superior to General Dynamics. This forces the company to keep upgrading its technology, in case it loses out to competitors developing better products, which in turn, leads to higher expenses. However, apart from solid demand for its varied defense products leading to organic growth, a notable acquisition strategy adds to General Dynamics’ inorganic growth. In this line, the CSRA acquisition bears notable importance. “

GD has been the topic of a number of other reports. UBS Group began coverage on General Dynamics in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. They issued a neutral rating and a $210.00 price target on the stock. Drexel Hamilton reiterated a buy rating and set a $230.00 target price on shares of General Dynamics in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on General Dynamics from $215.00 to $207.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. ValuEngine downgraded General Dynamics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, June 18th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an underweight rating and set a $225.00 target price on shares of General Dynamics in a research report on Thursday, June 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. General Dynamics currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $241.12.

Shares of GD stock traded down $2.15 on Wednesday, reaching $195.67. The stock had a trading volume of 98,478 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,505,389. The company has a market cap of $60.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.77. General Dynamics has a 1 year low of $184.21 and a 1 year high of $230.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 1.20 and a quick ratio of 0.84.

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The aerospace company reported $2.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.49 by $0.33. The firm had revenue of $9.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.09 billion. General Dynamics had a return on equity of 27.06% and a net margin of 9.16%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.45 EPS. As a group, analysts expect that General Dynamics will post 11.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.93 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 4th. This represents a $3.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.90%. General Dynamics’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.39%.

In other General Dynamics news, insider John Patrick Casey sold 22,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $191.99, for a total transaction of $4,319,775.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 118,555 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,761,374.45. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider S. Daniel Johnson sold 77,810 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.85, for a total value of $15,550,328.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 99,333 shares in the company, valued at $19,851,700.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of GD. Newport Trust Co increased its stake in General Dynamics by 0.3% during the second quarter. Newport Trust Co now owns 21,068,046 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $3,927,294,000 after acquiring an additional 66,593 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in General Dynamics by 1.1% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,024,342 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $3,173,507,000 after acquiring an additional 191,353 shares during the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its stake in General Dynamics by 29.0% during the second quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 2,243,297 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $418,173,000 after acquiring an additional 504,326 shares during the last quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC increased its stake in General Dynamics by 3.8% during the first quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC now owns 1,577,319 shares of the aerospace company’s stock worth $348,430,000 after acquiring an additional 57,762 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in General Dynamics during the second quarter worth approximately $258,844,000. 85.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

General Dynamics Company Profile

General Dynamics Corporation operates as an aerospace and defense company worldwide. It operates through four business groups: Aerospace; Combat Systems; Information Systems and Technology; and Marine Systems. The Aerospace group designs, develops, manufactures, service and supports business-jet aircraft; and provides aircraft services, such as maintenance, aircraft management, charter, fixed-base operational, and staffing services.

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