Noble (NYSE:NE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Noble is a leading offshore drilling firm with a robust portfolio of assets. Though the industry has witnessed a setback in the past few months, the company is likely to be less impacted by it than its peers. This is because Noble Corp. enjoys a strong backlog position ($3.2 billion). With less oil being discovered on land and companies having to dig ever deeper to get to their reserves, Noble is poised to benefit from a market with robust multi-year demand trends, given its technologically advanced and versatile drilling fleet. However, we are concerned about Noble Corp’s high debt level. The company has a heavy debt-to-capitalization ratio of 41.4% compared to the industry’s ratio of 37.9%.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on NE. Cowen set a $5.00 price target on shares of Noble and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $5.00 price target on shares of Noble and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “underweight” rating on shares of Noble in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Jefferies Group set a $6.00 price target on shares of Noble and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $5.00 price target on shares of Noble and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, November 12th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $5.41.

Shares of Noble (NYSE:NE) traded up $0.10 during trading on Monday, reaching $5.10. 10,280,300 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,102,377. The company has a current ratio of 1.58, a quick ratio of 1.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. Noble has a 12-month low of $3.14 and a 12-month high of $7.76. The stock has a market cap of $1,250.00, a PE ratio of -0.70 and a beta of 2.34.

Noble (NYSE:NE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The oil and gas company reported ($0.36) earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.36). Noble had a negative net margin of 136.22% and a negative return on equity of 3.94%. The firm had revenue of $266.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $269.61 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.23) EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 30.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Noble will post -1.18 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NE. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Noble by 37.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 32,390,455 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $117,253,000 after purchasing an additional 8,843,373 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Noble by 16.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 23,523,527 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $85,155,000 after purchasing an additional 3,371,015 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of Noble by 31.7% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 22,444,196 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $81,248,000 after purchasing an additional 5,405,697 shares during the last quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd lifted its position in shares of Noble by 21.7% during the third quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd now owns 6,631,412 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $30,504,000 after purchasing an additional 1,184,494 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Noble by 33.8% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,337,639 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $12,082,000 after purchasing an additional 843,007 shares during the last quarter. 86.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Noble Company Profile

Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units and one floating production storage and offloading unit (NYSE:NE) located globally.

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Analyst Recommendations for Noble (NYSE:NE)

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