Noble (NE) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Noble (NYSE:NE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Noble is a leading offshore drilling firm with a robust portfolio of assets. Though the industry has witnessed a setback in the past few months, the company is likely to be less impacted by it than its peers. This is because Noble Corp. enjoys a strong backlog position ($3.2 billion). With less oil being discovered on land and companies having to dig ever deeper to get to their reserves, Noble is poised to benefit from a market with robust multi-year demand trends, given its technologically advanced and versatile drilling fleet. However, we are concerned about Noble Corp’s high debt level. The company has a heavy debt-to-capitalization ratio of 41.4% compared to the industry’s ratio of 37.9%.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada set a $5.00 price target on Noble and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, December 21st. ValuEngine cut Noble from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a hold rating and issued a $2.85 price objective on shares of Noble in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Deutsche Bank started coverage on Noble in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. They issued a hold rating and a $4.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, started coverage on Noble in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. They issued a buy rating and a $5.30 price objective on the stock. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $5.41.

Shares of Noble (NYSE NE) traded up $0.13 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $5.23. The stock had a trading volume of 10,813,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,154,057. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 1.58 and a current ratio of 1.58. Noble has a 12-month low of $3.14 and a 12-month high of $7.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,280.00, a P/E ratio of -0.72 and a beta of 2.34.

Noble (NYSE:NE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The oil and gas company reported ($0.36) earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of ($0.36). Noble had a negative return on equity of 3.94% and a negative net margin of 136.22%. The firm had revenue of $266.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $269.61 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.23) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 30.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Noble will post -1.18 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its position in Noble by 9.1% during the 2nd quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 48,685 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $176,000 after acquiring an additional 4,047 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Noble by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,470,919 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $5,325,000 after purchasing an additional 11,000 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Noble by 2.8% during the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 444,840 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,046,000 after purchasing an additional 12,067 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky lifted its holdings in shares of Noble by 26.5% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 69,700 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $252,000 after purchasing an additional 14,590 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers lifted its holdings in shares of Noble by 3.6% during the 3rd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 489,841 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,253,000 after purchasing an additional 17,231 shares during the last quarter. 86.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Noble Company Profile

Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units and one floating production storage and offloading unit (NYSE:NE) located globally.

Analyst Recommendations for Noble (NYSE:NE)

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