Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 93,970,860 shares, an increase of 8.4% from the September 15th total of 86,659,476 shares. Currently, 31.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 19,570,093 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.8 days.

Shares of Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) opened at 5.53 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.56 and a beta of 1.75. Ensco Plc has a 52-week low of $4.10 and a 52-week high of $12.04. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $5.21 and its 200 day moving average is $6.11.

Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.10) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.12) by $0.02. The company had revenue of $457.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $453.48 million. Ensco Plc had a net margin of 2.68% and a return on equity of 0.77%. Ensco Plc’s revenue was down 49.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $2.04 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Ensco Plc will post ($0.40) EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 22nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 11th were issued a $0.01 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 8th. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.72%. Ensco Plc’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 23.53%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its holdings in Ensco Plc by 0.3% in the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 47,676 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $246,000 after buying an additional 143 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its holdings in Ensco Plc by 2.3% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 19,304 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $173,000 after buying an additional 436 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its holdings in Ensco Plc by 2.0% in the first quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 24,092 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $216,000 after buying an additional 468 shares during the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Ensco Plc by 2.2% in the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 23,177 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $209,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank raised its holdings in Ensco Plc by 0.3% in the second quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 259,039 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $1,386,000 after buying an additional 764 shares during the last quarter. 91.56% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

ESV has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. UBS AG upgraded shares of Ensco Plc from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $6.00 to $8.00 in a report on Monday, September 25th. Nordea Equity Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $8.00 target price on shares of Ensco Plc in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) initiated coverage on shares of Ensco Plc in a report on Friday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $8.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $6.00 target price (down previously from $9.00) on shares of Ensco Plc in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ensco Plc from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ensco Plc currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $9.09.

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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. Its segments include Floaters, Jackups and Other. The Floaters segment includes its drillships and semisubmersible rigs, and provides contract drilling.

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