WTI crude is falling 2.87% to $44.39 per barrel, while Brent crude is decreasing 2.72% to $47.28 per barrel this afternoon, according to the CNBC.com index.
Industrial firms in China saw an 8.8% drop in profits during August, which drove a decline in global equity markets and commodities on Monday, Reuters reports.
"There are more sellers than buyers in oil today and we could break the $44 support for WTI on the downside," Tyche Capital Advisors trader Tariq Zahir told Reuters.
Additionally, inventory at the Cushing, Okla. delivery hub declined more than 1 million barrels last week, according to estimates by Genscape, Reuters added.
The drop in inventories could indicate a further decline in U.S. stockpiles, which will be reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NOBLE CORP PLC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
We rate NOBLE CORP PLC (NE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed — some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The gross profit margin for NOBLE CORP PLC is rather high; currently it is at 57.55%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.04% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.73, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.89 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, NOBLE CORP PLC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $399.30 million or 24.09% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, NOBLE CORP PLC has marginally lower results.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: NE