Noble Co. PLC (NYSE:NE) shares gapped down before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $4.26, but opened at $4.12. Noble shares last traded at $3.86, with a volume of 8732777 shares.

NE has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Tudor Pickering upgraded shares of Noble from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Simmons upgraded shares of Noble from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $3.25 to $6.00 in a report on Monday, October 1st. Cowen initiated coverage on shares of Noble in a report on Saturday, October 13th. They set a “hold” rating and a $6.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Noble in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $6.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $6.00 price objective on shares of Noble and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $6.24.

The company has a current ratio of 2.09, a quick ratio of 2.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83. The firm has a market cap of $1.02 billion, a P/E ratio of -3.39 and a beta of 2.41.

Noble (NYSE:NE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The oil and gas company reported ($0.43) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.45) by $0.02. Noble had a negative net margin of 79.51% and a negative return on equity of 8.26%. The firm had revenue of $279.41 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $263.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($0.36) earnings per share. Noble’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Noble Co. PLC will post -1.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Noble by 2.1% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 38,394,046 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $269,910,000 after buying an additional 788,704 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Noble by 1.4% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,971,839 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $175,552,000 after buying an additional 345,691 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Noble by 2.2% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 17,001,252 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $119,516,000 after buying an additional 361,184 shares in the last quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd grew its position in shares of Noble by 16.3% during the second quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd now owns 7,628,481 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $48,288,000 after buying an additional 1,068,508 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Noble by 4.0% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,571,536 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $32,137,000 after buying an additional 177,426 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.64% of the company’s stock.

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About Noble (NYSE:NE)

Noble Corporation plc operates as an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry worldwide. It provides contract drilling services using mobile offshore drilling units. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a fleet of 8 drill ships, 6 semisubmersibles, and 14 jack ups. Noble Corporation plc was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

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