Clarkson Capital upgraded shares of Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV) from a sell rating to a neutral rating in a research note published on Thursday.

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on ESV. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Ensco PLC in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ensco PLC from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Johnson Rice raised Ensco PLC from a hold rating to an accumulate rating in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Scotiabank reaffirmed a sector outperform rating and issued a $10.00 target price on shares of Ensco PLC in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. assumed coverage on Ensco PLC in a research report on Monday, June 13th. They issued an underperform rating and a $9.00 target price for the company. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve 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 target price of $11.98.

Shares of Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV) traded up 1.74% during trading on Thursday, hitting $7.60. 2,697,981 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a 50-day moving average of $7.90 and a 200-day moving average of $9.71. The stock’s market capitalization is $2.29 billion. Ensco PLC has a 52-week low of $6.50 and a 52-week high of $18.93.

Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The offshore drilling services provider reported $2.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $1.51. The firm earned $910 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $746.55 million. Ensco PLC had a positive return on equity of 10.06% and a negative net margin of 39.67%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 14.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.11 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Ensco PLC will post $1.53 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.01 per share. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. Ensco PLC’s dividend payout ratio is presently -0.60%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ESV. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Ensco PLC by 30.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,399,404 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $314,598,000 after buying an additional 7,576,931 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in Ensco PLC by 16.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 14,491,794 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $140,714,000 after buying an additional 2,060,673 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Ensco PLC by 35.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 11,446,745 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $111,148,000 after buying an additional 3,004,527 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Ensco PLC by 29.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 9,224,245 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $89,567,000 after buying an additional 2,076,854 shares during the period. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in Ensco PLC by 78.9% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 8,143,320 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock valued at $84,446,000 after buying an additional 3,592,260 shares during the period. 85.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Ensco PLC

Ensco plc is an offshore contract drilling company. The Company provides offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry. The Company’s segments include Floaters, Jackups and Other. Its Floaters segment includes the Company’s drillships and semisubmersible rigs, and provides contract drilling.

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