Ensco (ESV) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday, January 8th.

According to Zacks, “Ensco’s pricing chart is unimpressive and reflects weaknesses over the period of last one year. The company lost 42.6%, underperforming the industry’s 30.1% decrease. 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.  The introduction of new and more stringent regulations following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has made deepwater drilling activity prohibitively expensive for exploration and production companies, making many projects marginal. 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 equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. FBR & Co reduced their price target on shares of Ensco from $9.00 to $6.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $6.10 price target on shares of Ensco in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on shares of Ensco in a research note on Friday, October 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $8.00 price target on the stock. Cowen set a $4.00 price target on shares of Ensco and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, initiated coverage on shares of Ensco in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $7.30 price target on the stock. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $7.91.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) traded up $0.07 on Monday, hitting $7.43. 10,601,900 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 15,174,322. Ensco has a twelve month low of $4.10 and a twelve month high of $12.03. The company has a market capitalization of $3,240.00, a PE ratio of -32.30 and a beta of 1.82. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 5.04 and a quick ratio of 5.04.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.16) by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $460.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $457.79 million. Ensco had a negative net margin of 3.04% and a negative return on equity of 0.37%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.28 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Ensco will post -0.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ESV. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ensco by 29.7% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,692,842 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $8,736,000 after purchasing an additional 387,292 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Ensco by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,577,679 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $28,780,000 after purchasing an additional 18,054 shares during the period. Comerica Bank boosted its holdings in Ensco by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 259,039 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $1,386,000 after purchasing an additional 764 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Ensco by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,297,529 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $6,696,000 after purchasing an additional 58,893 shares during the period. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in Ensco in the 2nd quarter valued at about $669,000. 76.80% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Ensco 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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