An issue of Noble Co. PLC (NYSE:NE) bonds fell 1% as a percentage of their face value during trading on Wednesday. The high-yield issue of debt has a 7.75% coupon and will mature on January 15, 2024. The debt is now trading at $97.31 and was trading at $97.75 one week ago. Price changes in a company’s bonds in credit markets often anticipate parallel changes in its stock price.

NE has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Noble from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Noble from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $6.50 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Noble in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $6.00 target price for the company. Nordea Equity Research upgraded shares of Noble from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 28th. Finally, BTIG Research initiated coverage on shares of Noble in a research report on Monday, September 17th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $6.18.

NE opened at $6.30 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.07, a current ratio of 2.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -5.53 and a beta of 2.25. Noble Co. PLC has a 1-year low of $3.39 and a 1-year high of $7.44.

Noble (NYSE:NE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 2nd. The oil and gas company reported ($0.49) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.47) by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $258.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $256.02 million. Noble had a negative net margin of 81.87% and a negative return on equity of 7.44%. The company’s revenue was down 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.32) EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Noble Co. PLC will post -1.92 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NE. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Noble by 16.4% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 16,640,068 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $105,330,000 after purchasing an additional 2,346,793 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in shares of Noble in the 2nd quarter valued at about $12,669,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Noble by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 37,605,342 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $238,043,000 after purchasing an additional 1,720,572 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Noble by 263.9% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,973,946 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $12,495,000 after purchasing an additional 1,431,523 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Contrarius Investment Management Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Noble by 16.3% in the 2nd quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd now owns 7,628,481 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $48,288,000 after purchasing an additional 1,068,508 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.67% of the company’s stock.

About Noble (NYSE:NE)

Noble Corporation plc operates as an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry worldwide. It provides contract drilling services using mobile offshore drilling units. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a fleet of 8 drill ships, 6 semisubmersibles, and 14 jack ups. Noble Corporation plc was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

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