Ensco (ESV) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ensco (NYSE:ESV) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday, March 14th.

According to Zacks, “Ensco’s merger with Atwood Oceanics has been completed by the company. This will bring together two leading offshore drillers with premium assets that cover the world’s most prolific basins along with a diverse customer base. This will help the company in clinching new orders in spite of the ongoing commodity price volatility. Apart from the deal’s compelling strategic rationale, the companies expect to come up with cost synergies of $110 million over 2 years. While the bigger ‘Ensco’ should fare better, given the combined entity's size and scope of operations, it remains heavily exposed to offshore drilling's very weak fundamentals. Moreover, cash flow from core operations for Ensco has been declining steeply with no sign of improvement during 2017. We are concerned about Ensco’s weak balance sheet. All those weaknesses are reflected in Ensco’s unimpressive pricing chart snapshot of the last one year.<“

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Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Wells Fargo cut their price target on Ensco from $7.00 to $6.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, February 28th. Credit Suisse Group set a $8.00 price target on Ensco and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $7.00 price target on Ensco and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Cowen set a $6.00 price objective on Ensco and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray downgraded Ensco from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $6.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $6.66.

Shares of Ensco stock traded down $0.11 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $4.62. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,798,902 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,244,978. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 2.13 and a quick ratio of 2.13. Ensco has a 12-month low of $4.10 and a 12-month high of $9.50. The company has a market cap of $2,014.36, a PE ratio of -8.88 and a beta of 1.82.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 27th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.23) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.26) by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $454.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $453.21 million. Ensco had a negative return on equity of 1.86% and a negative net margin of 16.48%. Ensco’s revenue was down 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.10 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Ensco will post -0.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 16th. Investors of record on Monday, March 5th were paid a $0.01 dividend. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.87%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 2nd. Ensco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -7.69%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ensco in the fourth quarter worth about $100,000. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ensco in the third quarter worth about $100,000. ARGA Investment Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Ensco in the fourth quarter worth about $113,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ensco in the third quarter worth about $121,000. Finally, Investors Research Corp acquired a new position in shares of Ensco in the fourth quarter worth about $128,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.16% of the company’s stock.

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About Ensco

Ensco plc provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. It operates through three segments: Floaters, Jackups, and Other. The company owns and operates an offshore drilling rig fleet of 65 rigs, including 32 located in the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific, which comprise 3 rigs under construction; 14 located in North and South America, such as Brazil; and 19 located in Europe and the Mediterranean.

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