Shares of Noble Co. (NYSE:NE) rose 12.1% during mid-day trading on Friday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The company traded as high as $4.89 and last traded at $4.82, with a volume of 18,473,307 shares. The stock had previously closed at $4.30.
The oil and gas company reported ($0.17) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.02. The company had revenue of $363 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $368.25 million. Noble’s revenue for the quarter was down 40.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.31 earnings per share.
A number of research firms have recently commented on NE. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Noble in a research report on Friday, February 10th. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $10.00 target price on Noble and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 11th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating on shares of Noble in a research report on Friday, April 14th. Scotiabank restated a “hold” rating and set a $8.00 target price on shares of Noble in a research report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Finally, Barclays PLC dropped their target price on Noble from $7.00 to $5.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $7.40.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NE. State Street Corp raised its position in Noble by 57.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 13,735,183 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $81,317,000 after buying an additional 4,997,584 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Noble by 22.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 13,110,441 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $77,616,000 after buying an additional 2,434,327 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in Noble by 11.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 10,233,433 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $64,880,000 after buying an additional 1,030,587 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in Noble by 4.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 9,737,179 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $61,734,000 after buying an additional 447,307 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Noble by 18.9% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,500,377 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $34,046,000 after buying an additional 874,434 shares during the period. 91.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $5.54 and a 200-day moving average price of $6.16. The firm’s market cap is $1.18 billion. Noble also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors purchased 15,502 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 777% compared to the average volume of 1,768 call options.
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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