An issue of Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) bonds rose 1% against their face value during trading on Tuesday. The debt issue has a 8% coupon and will mature on January 31, 2024. The debt is now trading at $100.25 and was trading at $99.00 last week. Price changes in a company’s bonds in credit markets often anticipate parallel changes in its share price.

A number of research firms have weighed in on ESV. Jefferies Group LLC set a $9.00 price target on Ensco Plc and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. Seaport Global Securities downgraded Ensco Plc from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $6.50 to $4.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. HSBC Holdings plc began coverage on Ensco Plc in a research report on Thursday. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded Ensco Plc from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $4.75 price target on shares of Ensco Plc in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ensco Plc has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $9.09.

Ensco Plc (NYSE ESV) opened at 5.38 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $5.28 and a 200 day moving average price of $6.04. The stock has a market cap of $1.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.62 and a beta of 1.75. Ensco Plc has a 12-month low of $4.10 and a 12-month high of $12.04.

Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The offshore drilling services provider reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.02. Ensco Plc had a net margin of 2.68% and a return on equity of 0.77%. The company had revenue of $457.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $453.48 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.04 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 49.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Ensco Plc will post ($0.38) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 22nd. Investors of record on Monday, September 11th were given a $0.01 dividend. This represents a $0.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.74%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 8th. Ensco Plc’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 23.53%.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cipher Capital LP raised its position in Ensco Plc by 98.4% in the 2nd quarter. Cipher Capital LP now owns 466,177 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $2,405,000 after purchasing an additional 231,157 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Ensco Plc by 20.5% in the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 37,896 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $339,000 after purchasing an additional 6,436 shares during the period. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd raised its position in Ensco Plc by 114.5% in the 2nd quarter. Contrarius Investment Management Ltd now owns 7,638,005 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $39,412,000 after purchasing an additional 4,077,861 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in Ensco Plc by 209.0% in the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,116,657 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $5,762,000 after purchasing an additional 755,250 shares during the period. Finally, South Dakota Investment Council raised its position in Ensco Plc by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. South Dakota Investment Council now owns 487,200 shares of the offshore drilling services provider’s stock worth $2,514,000 after purchasing an additional 78,100 shares during the period. 91.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Ensco Plc

Ensco plc is an offshore contract drilling company. The Company provides offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry. Its segments include Floaters, Jackups and Other. The Floaters segment includes its drillships and semisubmersible rigs, and provides contract drilling.

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