Independence Contract Drilling (NYSE: ICD) and Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Independence Contract Drilling and Noble Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Independence Contract Drilling 0 1 7 0 2.88
Noble Corporation 6 16 5 0 1.96

Independence Contract Drilling presently has a consensus price target of $6.75, indicating a potential upside of 95.09%. Noble Corporation has a consensus price target of $5.96, indicating a potential upside of 72.25%. Given Independence Contract Drilling’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Independence Contract Drilling is more favorable than Noble Corporation.

Risk & Volatility

Independence Contract Drilling has a beta of 2.76, indicating that its share price is 176% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Noble Corporation has a beta of 2.16, indicating that its share price is 116% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

80.6% of Independence Contract Drilling shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.7% of Noble Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.8% of Independence Contract Drilling shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Noble Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Independence Contract Drilling and Noble Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Independence Contract Drilling $73.97 million 1.77 $6.78 million ($0.81) -4.27
Noble Corporation $1.40 billion 0.60 $639.70 million ($7.21) -0.48

Noble Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Independence Contract Drilling. Independence Contract Drilling is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Noble Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Independence Contract Drilling and Noble Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Independence Contract Drilling -40.75% -8.62% -7.24%
Noble Corporation -122.04% -3.19% -1.83%

Summary

Independence Contract Drilling beats Noble Corporation on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Noble Corporation

Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units and one floating production storage and offloading unit (NYSE:NE) located globally.

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