Noble Corporation Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (NE)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 12.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 72.64% to $395.56 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NOBLE CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.13%.
  • 45.40% is the gross profit margin for NOBLE CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of NE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NE's net profit margin of 13.00% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, NE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.04% from its price level of one year ago. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Energy Equipment & Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 15.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $135.32 million to $114.77 million.

Noble Corporation operates as an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The company offers contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. Noble has a market cap of $8.62 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Noble Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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