Ensco (ESV) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ensco (NYSE:ESV) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Monday morning.

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.”

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on ESV. UBS Group upgraded Ensco from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $6.00 to $8.00 in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Nordea Equity Research reiterated a buy rating and issued a $8.00 price objective on shares of Ensco in a research report on Saturday, September 30th. ValuEngine downgraded Ensco from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Deutsche Bank started coverage on Ensco in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. They issued a hold rating and a $6.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Ensco in a research report on Friday, October 13th. They issued a buy rating and a $8.00 price objective for the company. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $8.24.

Shares of Ensco (NYSE ESV) traded down $0.03 on Monday, reaching $7.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 21,220,512 shares, compared to its average volume of 16,074,301. The company has a current ratio of 5.04, a quick ratio of 5.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. Ensco has a 52-week low of $4.10 and a 52-week high of $12.04. The company has a market cap of $3,070.00, a P/E ratio of -30.65 and a beta of 1.82.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.16) by $0.11. Ensco had a negative return on equity of 0.37% and a negative net margin of 3.04%. The firm had revenue of $460.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $457.79 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.28 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Ensco will post -0.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 4th were paid a $0.01 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 1st. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.57%. Ensco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -17.39%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ensco by 25.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 32,777,289 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $169,130,000 after buying an additional 6,612,735 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Ensco by 170.3% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 16,775,071 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $86,564,000 after buying an additional 10,568,874 shares during the period. Capital International Investors increased its stake in shares of Ensco by 49.1% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 15,811,810 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $94,397,000 after buying an additional 5,205,307 shares during the period. Capital Guardian Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Ensco by 22.9% in the 3rd quarter. Capital Guardian Trust Co. now owns 13,074,290 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $78,054,000 after buying an additional 2,437,145 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Ensco by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,112,020 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $62,497,000 after buying an additional 192,165 shares during the period. 76.80% of the stock is owned by 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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