These Five Stocks are Making Headlines On Wednesday

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After the closing bell on Tuesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) released financial results that disappointed investors, which sent shares of both tech companies down in after-hours trading. However, Wall Street might have shifted focus away from the ongoing earnings season toward the monetary policy decision of the Federal Reserve. Although most market participants do not expect a rate hike this week, the policy statement released by the Fed’s policy-setting committee on Wednesday will definitely receive attention from investors. Aside from Apple’s and Twitter’s sharp declines in after-hours trading, there are several other stocks that are making big moves today.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 800 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see more details about our small-cap strategy).

Northrop’s Shares Down in Today’s Trading Session Despite Releasing Strong Earnings Report

Earlier in the morning, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) released its first-quarter earnings report, with both top- and bottom-line figures beating analysts’ estimates. The global security company posted net earnings of $556 million, or $3.03 per diluted share, which increased from $484 million, or $2.41 per diluted share, reported for the same quarter of 2015. Pension-adjusted diluted EPS increased to $2.77 from $2.14, easily beating analysts’ expectations of $2.49 per share. The defense contractor’s sales for the quarter were flat year-on-year at $5.96 billion, but slightly above analysts’ consensus estimate of $5.93 billion. The company’s top-line figure benefited from higher sales from its Aerospace Systems segment, which were offset by lower sales from Technology Services and Mission Systems. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) also raised its full-year 2016 EPS guidance to the range of $10.40 to $10.70 from the previous guidance of $9.90 to $10.20.

The shares of the security company are down below 1% thus far in today’s trading session and are 8% in the green thus far in 2016. There was a total of 40 hedge funds tracked by insider Monkey with stakes in Northrop at the end of December, which aggregately amassed nearly 7% of the company’s outstanding common stock. Eric Sprott’s Sprott Asset Management acquired a new stake of 179,600 shares of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) during the first quarter of this year.

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