Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) stock is buzzing this morning, after the defense company reported an impressive fourth-quarter revenue beat. The upbeat figures were fueled by higher sales from Lockheed’s F-35 fighter jet program. Further, the firm forecast rising profits in 2018. In response, LMT stock is up 2.1% to trade at $352.03, and just off a new record high of $352.57.
Lockheed Martin stock has now tacked on 38% year-over-year. The stock has been trending steadily higher since 2013, and last week enjoyed its best week since late May, gaining more than 3.8% as defense stocks rallied on earnings.
Despite an optimistic outlook for defense stocks in general, analysts have been slow to embrace LMT. In fact, 36% of brokerages covering the security rate the shares a tepid “hold.” Furthermore, LMT’s average 12-month price target of $340.70 sits below the stock’s current perch, indicating upgrades and price-target hikes could be imminent.
In the options pits, the equity sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 1.66, which ranks in the 84th percentile of its annual range. This indicates a much healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls over puts on LMT during the past two weeks, suggesting recent options buyers may be rewarded today.
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