Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR) Short Interest Up 11.2% in December

Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 35,500,000 shares, a growth of 11.2% from the December 15th total of 31,930,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 8,150,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.4 days. Approximately 10.6% of the shares of the company are sold short.

A number of brokerages have commented on NBR. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $3.00 price objective on shares of Nabors Industries in a report on Sunday, November 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada cut shares of Nabors Industries from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $9.00 to $3.50 in a research report on Wednesday, September 25th. Citigroup decreased their price target on shares of Nabors Industries from $2.50 to $2.25 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 1st. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of Nabors Industries in a research report on Monday. They set an “underperform” rating and a $1.50 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nabors Industries from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $3.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $2.73.

NBR stock traded up $0.06 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $2.98. The company had a trading volume of 2,922,782 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,986,864. The company has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -2.36 and a beta of 2.90. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $2.72 and a 200-day moving average price of $2.25. Nabors Industries has a 1-year low of $1.50 and a 1-year high of $4.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.50, a current ratio of 2.02 and a quick ratio of 1.75.

Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 29th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.31) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.22) by ($0.09). Nabors Industries had a negative return on equity of 16.80% and a negative net margin of 20.02%. The firm had revenue of $758.08 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $777.69 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned ($0.29) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Nabors Industries will post -1.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th were issued a dividend of $0.01 per share. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.34%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 12th. Nabors Industries’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -3.17%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cerebellum GP LLC raised its position in Nabors Industries by 421.1% during the fourth quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC now owns 66,660 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $192,000 after purchasing an additional 53,868 shares in the last quarter. Voloridge Investment Management LLC grew its position in Nabors Industries by 1,180.1% in the third quarter. Voloridge Investment Management LLC now owns 865,349 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,618,000 after acquiring an additional 797,749 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System raised its stake in Nabors Industries by 4.0% during the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 633,984 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,186,000 after acquiring an additional 24,619 shares in the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC raised its stake in Nabors Industries by 21.3% during the third quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 252,910 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $473,000 after acquiring an additional 44,371 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC bought a new position in shares of Nabors Industries in the third quarter worth about $35,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.36% of the company’s stock.

Nabors Industries Company Profile

Nabors Industries Ltd. provides drilling and drilling-related services and technologies for land-based and offshore oil and natural gas wells. It operates through five segments: U.S. Drilling, Canada Drilling, International Drilling, Drilling Solutions, and Rig Technologies. The company offers equipment manufacturing, rig instrumentation, optimization software, and directional drilling services.

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