Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 16,622,000 shares, a growth of 14.5% from the July 31st total of 14,522,600 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 4,250,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.9 days. Currently, 8.3% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on PTEN shares. UBS Group set a $17.00 target price on Patterson-UTI Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 26th. Scotiabank cut Patterson-UTI Energy from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $9.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, August 7th. Wells Fargo & Co cut Patterson-UTI Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Patterson-UTI Energy from $18.00 to $17.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 12th. Finally, AltaCorp Capital reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy in a research note on Thursday, June 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $14.43.

Shares of NASDAQ PTEN traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $9.11. The stock had a trading volume of 3,251,410 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,885,110. The company has a market capitalization of $1.82 billion, a P/E ratio of -26.79 and a beta of 1.52. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $9.22 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $11.90. Patterson-UTI Energy has a 52 week low of $7.87 and a 52 week high of $18.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 1.76 and a current ratio of 1.91.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.17) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.04. The business had revenue of $675.77 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $670.28 million. Patterson-UTI Energy had a negative return on equity of 2.71% and a negative net margin of 11.64%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 20.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.05) EPS. As a group, analysts expect that Patterson-UTI Energy will post -0.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 19th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 5th will be paid a $0.04 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 4th. This represents a $0.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.76%. Patterson-UTI Energy’s payout ratio is -47.06%.

In related news, Director Janeen S. Judah sold 5,000 shares of Patterson-UTI Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.05, for a total value of $45,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,023 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $244,558.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Curtis W. Huff purchased 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 23rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $8.08 per share, for a total transaction of $202,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 162,817 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,315,561.36. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 4.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in Patterson-UTI Energy by 84.2% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 6,474,948 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $74,527,000 after purchasing an additional 2,960,000 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Patterson-UTI Energy by 14.2% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 9,584,682 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $99,202,000 after purchasing an additional 1,191,714 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Patterson-UTI Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $9,870,000. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in Patterson-UTI Energy by 1,407.4% in the 2nd quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 649,697 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $7,478,000 after purchasing an additional 606,597 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential PLC lifted its holdings in Patterson-UTI Energy by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 3,573,704 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $41,148,000 after purchasing an additional 531,000 shares during the last quarter. 98.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Patterson-UTI Energy

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides onshore contract drilling services to oil and natural gas operators in the United States and Canada. It operates through three segments: Contract Drilling Services, Pressure Pumping Services, and Directional Drilling Services. The Contract Drilling segment markets its contract drilling services primarily in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, north central and east Texas, northern Louisiana, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, south Texas, western Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and western Canada.

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