Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Monday, October 30th.

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”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Nordea Equity Research reiterated a buy rating and set a $8.00 price objective on shares of Ensco Plc in a research note on Saturday, September 30th. UBS AG upgraded Ensco Plc from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $6.00 to $8.00 in a research note on Monday, September 25th. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. started coverage on Ensco Plc in a research note on Friday, October 13th. They issued a buy rating and a $8.00 price target on the stock. started coverage on Ensco Plc in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. They issued a buy rating and a $7.30 price target on the stock. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a buy rating and issued a $6.10 price target on shares of Ensco Plc in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $8.47.

Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) opened at $5.45 on Monday. Ensco Plc has a 12-month low of $4.10 and a 12-month high of $12.04. The company has a quick ratio of 5.04, a current ratio of 5.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58.

Ensco Plc (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, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.16) by $0.11. Ensco Plc had a negative return on equity of 0.37% and a negative net margin of 3.04%. The company had revenue of $460.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $457.79 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Ensco Plc will post -0.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Monday, December 4th will be paid a $0.01 dividend. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 1st. Ensco Plc’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -17.39%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cipher Capital LP boosted its stake in Ensco Plc by 98.4% in the second quarter. Cipher Capital LP now owns 466,177 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $2,405,000 after buying an additional 231,157 shares in the last quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd boosted its stake in Ensco Plc by 114.5% in the second quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd now owns 7,638,005 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $39,412,000 after buying an additional 4,077,861 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in Ensco Plc by 209.0% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,116,657 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $5,762,000 after buying an additional 755,250 shares in the last quarter. South Dakota Investment Council boosted its stake in Ensco Plc by 19.1% in the second quarter. South Dakota Investment Council now owns 487,200 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $2,514,000 after buying an additional 78,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Ensco Plc by 66.4% in the second quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 799,721 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $4,127,000 after buying an additional 319,031 shares in the last quarter. 91.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ensco Plc

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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Analyst Recommendations for Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV)

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