Union Drilling (NASDAQ: UDRL) and Transocean (NYSE:RIG) are both oil & gas drilling – nec companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, valuation, risk and earnings.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

70.3% of Transocean shares are held by institutional investors. 0.3% of Transocean shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Union Drilling has a beta of 2, meaning that its share price is 100% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Transocean has a beta of 1.81, meaning that its share price is 81% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Union Drilling and Transocean’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Union Drilling N/A N/A N/A
Transocean -84.09% 2.10% 1.23%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Union Drilling and Transocean’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Union Drilling N/A N/A N/A $0.04 163.75
Transocean $4.16 billion 1.01 $778.00 million ($7.11) -1.51

Transocean has higher revenue and earnings than Union Drilling. Transocean is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Union Drilling, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Union Drilling and Transocean, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Union Drilling 0 0 0 0 N/A
Transocean 9 11 13 0 2.12

Transocean has a consensus price target of $12.15, indicating a potential upside of 13.46%. Given Transocean’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Transocean is more favorable than Union Drilling.


Transocean beats Union Drilling on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Union Drilling

Operates an oil and gas land drilling company. The Company provides contract land drilling services and equipment to natural gas producers. the principal operations are in the Appalachian basin, extending from New York to Tennessee, the Arkoma basin in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, the fort worth basin in northern Texas, the perchance basin in western Colorado and the Uinta basin in eastern Utah. It has increased the size of fleet to 76 land drilling rigs, of which 70 are marketed and six are stacked in. It operates in United States and Canada.

About Transocean

Transocean Ltd. is an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. The Company’s primary business is to contract its drilling rigs, related equipment and work crews on a dayrate basis to drill oil and gas wells. As of February 9, 2017, it owned or had partial ownership interests in and operated 56 mobile offshore drilling units. As of February 9, 2017, its fleet consisted of 30 floaters, seven harsh environment floaters, three deepwater floaters, six midwater floaters and 10 high-specification jackups. As February 9, 2017, it also had four ultra-deepwater drillships and five high-specification jackups under construction or under contract to be constructed. Its contract drilling services operations are spread across oil and gas exploration and development areas throughout the world. The Company’s drilling fleet can be characterized as floaters, including drillships and semisubmersibles, and jackups.

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