First Mercantile Trust Co. grew its holdings in shares of Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) by 324.1% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 24,597 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 18,797 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co.’s holdings in Ensco were worth $208,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of ESV. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ensco in the 3rd quarter valued at about $107,000. Vanguard Capital Wealth Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Ensco in the 2nd quarter valued at about $111,000. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Ensco in the 3rd quarter valued at about $127,000. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ensco in the 3rd quarter valued at about $129,000. Finally, Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ensco in the 2nd quarter valued at about $131,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.79% of the company’s stock.

In related news, VP Steven Joseph Brady sold 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $6.22, for a total value of $27,990.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 314,864 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,958,454.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.72% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several brokerages have recently commented on ESV. DNB Markets upgraded Ensco from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Ensco from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $8.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and issued a $8.00 target price on shares of Ensco in a research note on Monday, October 1st. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $9.00 target price on shares of Ensco in a research note on Sunday, October 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ensco in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $8.89.

Shares of NYSE ESV opened at $6.40 on Monday. Ensco Plc has a fifty-two week low of $4.10 and a fifty-two week high of $9.51. The company has a current ratio of 2.58, a quick ratio of 2.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.33) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.35) by $0.02. Ensco had a negative net margin of 36.53% and a negative return on equity of 5.98%. The business had revenue of $431.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $424.66 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.05) EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Ensco Plc will post -1.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Investors of record on Monday, December 3rd will be given a $0.01 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $0.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.63%. Ensco’s payout ratio is -7.69%.

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About Ensco

Ensco plc provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. It operates through three segments: Floaters, Jackups, and Other. The company owns and operates an offshore drilling rig fleet of 65 rigs, including 32 located in the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific, which comprise 3 rigs under construction; 14 located in North and South America, such as Brazil; and 19 located in Europe and the Mediterranean.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ensco (NYSE:ESV)

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