Zacks Investment Research Lowers ENSCO PLC (ESV) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ensco’s pricing chart is unimpressive and reflects weaknesses over the period of last three months. The company lost 1.6%, underperforming the industry’s 1.4% increase. Ensco’s third quarter earnings and revenue both declined year over year  mainly due to lower day rates from floaters and jackups, which was partially offset by higher jackup utilization. Since 2016, cash flow from core operations for Ensco has been declining steeply with no sign of improvement. Also, the company’s balance sheet started to show declining cash balances reflecting weak financials. We believe that reduced rig operating days following lower utilization of floaters continue to hurt Ensco’s net cashflow. Considering these factors, we prefer to remain in the sidelines and wait for a better entry point”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on ESV. ValuEngine raised shares of ENSCO PLC from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) initiated coverage on shares of ENSCO PLC in a research report on Friday, October 13th. They set a buy rating and a $8.00 price target on the stock. Cowen and Company set a $4.00 price target on shares of ENSCO PLC and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a sell rating on shares of ENSCO PLC in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of ENSCO PLC from $4.75 to $5.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. ENSCO PLC presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $8.47.

ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.16) by $0.11. ENSCO PLC had a negative net margin of 3.04% and a negative return on equity of 0.37%. The business had revenue of $460.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $457.79 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.28 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 16.1% on a year-over-year basis.

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Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ESV. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of ENSCO PLC by 2.3% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 19,304 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $173,000 after acquiring an additional 436 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of ENSCO PLC by 21.0% during the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 73,034 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $654,000 after acquiring an additional 12,653 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of ENSCO PLC by 2.5% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,238,636 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $11,086,000 after acquiring an additional 30,671 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of ENSCO PLC by 7.2% during the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 397,736 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $3,560,000 after acquiring an additional 26,758 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of ENSCO PLC by 2.5% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 63,932 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $573,000 after acquiring an additional 1,563 shares during the period. 91.56% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

ENSCO PLC Company Profile

Ensco plc is an offshore contract drilling company. The Company provides offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry. Its segments include Floaters, Jackups and Other. The Floaters segment includes its drillships and semisubmersible rigs, and provides contract drilling.

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