Noble (NE) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Noble (NYSE:NE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Noble is a leading offshore drilling firm with a robust portfolio of assets. Though the industry had witnessed a setback in the past, the company was less impacted by it than its peers. The company enjoys a strong backlog position ($3 billion). As of Sep 30, 2018, 93% of jackup’s available operating days were committed for 2018. For floater’s 55% of available rig operating days are committed. For 2019, about 45% of the available rig days were committed, including 37% of the floating rig days and 53% of the jackup rig days. However, the company’s balance sheet is more levered than the industry its belongs to.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Noble from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, September 20th. Societe Generale upgraded Noble from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $10.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, October 12th. Simmons upgraded Noble from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and increased their price objective for the company from $3.25 to $6.00 in a report on Monday, October 1st. Cowen initiated coverage on Noble in a report on Saturday, October 13th. They issued a hold rating and a $6.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Nordea Equity Research upgraded Noble from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, September 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Noble currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $6.06.

Shares of NE opened at $3.22 on Wednesday. Noble has a 52 week low of $3.19 and a 52 week high of $7.44. The company has a quick ratio of 2.09, a current ratio of 2.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83.

Noble (NYSE:NE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The oil and gas company reported ($0.43) EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.02. Noble had a negative return on equity of 8.26% and a negative net margin of 79.51%. The company had revenue of $279.41 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $263.19 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.36) EPS. Noble’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts predict that Noble will post -1.84 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Noble during the 3rd quarter worth about $28,269,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Noble by 16.4% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 16,640,068 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $105,330,000 after acquiring an additional 2,346,793 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in Noble during the 2nd quarter worth about $12,669,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Noble by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 37,605,342 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $238,043,000 after acquiring an additional 1,720,572 shares during the period. Finally, University of Notre Dame DU Lac acquired a new stake in Noble during the 3rd quarter worth about $11,485,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.64% of the company’s stock.

Noble Company Profile

Noble Corporation plc operates as an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry worldwide. It provides contract drilling services using mobile offshore drilling units. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a fleet of 8 drill ships, 6 semisubmersibles, and 14 jack ups. Noble Corporation plc was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

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