Noble Corp. (NE) Stock Climbing as Crude Prices Move Higher

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Noble Corp (NE) are climbing higher by 2.08% to $17.20 in afternoon trading Wednesday, as both WTI and Brent crude remain in the green following a report by the Energy Information Administration, Reuters reports.

According to the EIA, crude stocks fell by 6.8 million barrels in the last week, much higher compared to the decline of 1.7 million barrels analysts were expecting.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Okla. delivery hub dropped by 1.024 million barrels, the EIA reports.

Refineries increased output, while gasoline stocks decreased and distillate inventories increased, Reuters noted.

Brent crude for July delivery was up 1.17% to $65.64 a barrel as of 2:48 p.m. ET today, while U.S. crude for July delivery was rising 1.91% to $61.29 a barrel.

Noble Corp. is a British company, operating as a major contract driller of oil and natural gas wells, with its focus largely on ultra-deepwater and high-specification jack-up drilling opportunities.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NOBLE CORP PLC as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NOBLE CORP PLC (NE) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • 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 $368.58 million or 27.12% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • NE's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 39.03%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Energy Equipment & Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 29.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $254.56 million to $178.40 million.
  • NE's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.26 is sturdy.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NE Ratings Report

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