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Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC), Raytheon Company (RTN), General Dynamics Corporation (GD): David Harding’s Winton Capital Management Loves Aerospace & Defense Stocks

David Harding’s Winton Capital Management has filed its Schedule 13F form with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the third quarter of 2014. In this document, the fund disclosed its long equity positions as of September 30. The portfolio, worth more than $13.98 billion, is divided amongst almost all sectors of the economy, but has a slight focus on information technology (19%) and finance (17.4%) stocks. In this article, I will particularly look into Mr. Harding’s top 3 picks for the period: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) and General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD).

Only one of these companies were amongst David Harding’s Top Picks for the second quarter of the year: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC). The other two companies are newcomers. However, some analysts previously considered Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) and General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) were the 3 Top Defense Stocks For The 21st Century. By the way, also check out Mr. Harding’s Mega-Cap Tech Stock Picks from the previous quarter for some additional investment ideas, and find out how he picks his stocks.

David Harding

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is a $27.13 billion market cap security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity; command, control, communications and computers (C4) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Despite a 14% reduction in Winton Capital Management’s stake in the company over the third quarter, this is now its largest equity position, having displaced L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LLL), which now occupies the fourth spot in this list. The fund disclosed ownership of 980,077 shares of Common Stock, worth almost $130 million.

Other major institutional investors betting on Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) are Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management and Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management. These funds last declared (for the end of the second quarter) holding 4.81 million shares and 1.79 million shares, respectively.

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) came in second. This is a $31.19 billion market cap provider of technology-driven solutions that deliver integrated mission systems for the critical defense and non-defense needs of its customers. Following a 24% raise in its holdings, Winton Capital Management owns 1.81 million shares of Common Stock (New), worth about $120 million.

This wage makes of Winton Capital Management the largest institutional investor (amongst those we track) in Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN). Once again, Cliff Asness’ AQR Capital Management can be counted amongst the company’s bulls; the fund disclosed (by the end of the second quarter) ownership of 1.38 million shares of Common Stock.

Finally, there’s General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD), a $45.28 billion market cap aerospace and defense company that offers products and services in business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; shipbuilding; and communication and information technology systems and solutions. This company also saw Winton Capital Management’s stake grow over the third quarter; in this case, by 42%. The fund now owns 943,849 shares of Common Stock, with a market value just shy of $120 million.

General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) is also amongst Gavin Abrams’ Abrams Bison Investments’ top picks for the second quarter of the year. However, its 2.39 million shares are nothing compared to James A. Star’s Longview Asset Management’s 33.35 million shares, worth more than $3.8 billion as of the end of June.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any stocks or funds mentioned

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