Textron, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics Report: Three Stocks – Three Winners!

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Textron, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics Report: Three Stocks – Three Winners!

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A Tale of Three Defense Contractors Three of America’s biggest names in defense contracting reported earnings this week – and the investing crowd went wild!

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What: Textron (NYSE: TXT) was first out of the gate, reporting earnings Tuesday morning and seeing its shares surge 9% in response.

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So What: Quarterly sales slid 7% year over year to $3.25 billion Profits were off 18% at $0.60 per share And manufacturing free cash flow dropped by nearly two-thirds to $89 million

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Now What: Textron “beat earnings” for the quarter, which may explain why investors reacted so positively. The plunge in free cash flow is nonetheless concerning. Priced at more than 200 times this year’s likely cash profits, Textron shares look very expensive.

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What: Text Next came Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC). The drone-maker reported runaway profits Wednesday, then watched its share price rocket more than 7%.

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So What: Sales slipped 2% to $5.9 billion But slightly higher profit margins and a big reduction in share count led to… …16% improvement in profits per share -- $2.74!

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Now What: Northrop Grumman has been taking on billions of dollars in debt to fund its share buybacks. That can’t continue forever. But if buybacks stop, earnings growth will suffer. Caveat investor. Text

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What: General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) results were nearly as good, as was its price pop. By early Friday, the shares were up more than 4%.

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So What: General Dynamics delivered perhaps the week’s best news: Sales up 5.5% to $7.9 billion Operating profit margins up one full percentage point And a whopping 44% increase in earnings per share -- to $2.27 Text

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Now What: CEO Phebe Novakovic called her company’s performance “rock solid” – and we agree. With billions of dollars of new armored vehicle contracts to execute, and a potential big shipbuilding win from the US Coast Guard, General Dynamics’ future looks very bright.  Text

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