Noble Co. PLC (NYSE:NE) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Noble Co. PLC (NYSE:NE) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 30,004,200 shares, an increase of 19.1% from the June 30th total of 25,188,900 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 5,320,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.6 days. Approximately 12.3% of the company’s stock are sold short.

Shares of NE stock traded down $0.18 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $1.23. 5,397,676 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,108,114. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $1.82. The company has a market capitalization of $376.22 million, a PE ratio of -0.67 and a beta of 2.51. Noble has a 12-month low of $1.20 and a 12-month high of $7.44. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80.

Noble (NYSE:NE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 1st. The oil and gas company reported ($0.34) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.11. The company had revenue of $292.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $271.59 million. Noble had a negative return on equity of 8.14% and a negative net margin of 28.97%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.49) earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Noble will post -1.69 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Bank of America assumed coverage on Noble in a research note on Monday, June 10th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $1.25 price target on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Noble from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. HSBC set a $3.00 price target on Noble and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 15th. SEB Equities cut Noble from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their price target for the company from $2.80 to $1.50 in a research note on Tuesday, June 18th. Finally, Barclays set a $3.00 price target on Noble and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Noble has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $4.65.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Hellman Jordan Management Co. Inc. MA purchased a new position in shares of Noble during the first quarter worth about $29,000. Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in shares of Noble by 722.2% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,539,800 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $4,035,000 after purchasing an additional 1,352,522 shares during the last quarter. KBC Group NV purchased a new position in shares of Noble during the second quarter worth about $472,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Noble during the fourth quarter worth about $9,114,000. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp purchased a new position in shares of Noble during the first quarter worth about $39,000. 79.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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, 2018, the company operated a fleet of 24 drilling rigs consisted of 8 drill ships, 4 semisubmersibles, and 12 jack ups.

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