Ensco PLC (ESV): Today's Featured Energy Laggard

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Ensco ( ESV) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Ensco fell $0.78 (-1.4%) to $54.84 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,332,274 shares of Ensco exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,378,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $54.09-$55.39 after having opened the day at $55.39 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.62. Other companies within the Energy industry that declined today were: MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), down 16.1%, New Concept Energy ( GBR), down 3.2%, Bolt Technology Corporation ( BOLT), down 2.7% and Forum Energy Technologies ( FET), down 2.7%.

Ensco plc provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Floaters, Jackups, and Other. Ensco has a market cap of $13.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Ensco a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ensco as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Rocket Fuel ( FUEL), up 13.2%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 10.3%, Goodrich Petroleum ( GDP), up 8.8% and Sanchez Energy ( SN), up 5.7% , were all gainers within the energy industry with Pioneer Natural Resources Company ( PXD) being today's featured energy industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).

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