Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV)‘s stock had its “sector outperform” rating reissued by stock analysts at Howard Weil in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, StockTargetPrices.com reports.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on ESV. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ensco PLC in a research note on Sunday, July 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an “underweight” rating on shares of Ensco PLC in a research note on Friday, May 20th. Johnson Rice raised shares of Ensco PLC from a “hold” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a research note on Monday, June 13th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ensco PLC from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Finally, Scotiabank reaffirmed a “sector outperform” rating and issued a $10.00 target price on shares of Ensco PLC in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $11.92.

Shares of Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV) opened at 6.87 on Thursday. The company’s market capitalization is $2.07 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $8.26 and its 200-day moving average price is $9.86. Ensco PLC has a 12 month low of $6.67 and a 12 month high of $18.93.

Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The offshore drilling services provider reported $2.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $1.51. Ensco PLC had a positive return on equity of 10.06% and a negative net margin of 39.67%. The firm earned $910 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $746.55 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.11 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 14.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Ensco PLC will post $1.53 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a dividend of $0.01 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.58%. Ensco PLC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -0.60%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ESV. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp purchased a new position in Ensco PLC during the first quarter valued at approximately $593,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in Ensco PLC by 33.8% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 160,410 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $1,663,000 after buying an additional 40,500 shares during the period. Willis Investment Counsel boosted its position in Ensco PLC by 40.4% in the first quarter. Willis Investment Counsel now owns 320,548 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $3,324,000 after buying an additional 92,173 shares during the period. Advisor Partners LLC purchased a new position in Ensco PLC during the first quarter valued at approximately $139,000. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in Ensco PLC by 10.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 7,147,391 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $74,118,000 after buying an additional 695,022 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.81% of the company’s stock.

Ensco PLC Company Profile

Ensco plc is an offshore contract drilling company. The Company provides offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry. The Company’s segments include Floaters, Jackups and Other. Its Floaters segment includes the Company’s drillships and semisubmersible rigs, and provides contract drilling.

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