Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (PTEN) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. They currently have $33.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Currently trading near its 52-week high, Patterson-UTI shares has been comfortably outperforming the Zacks categorized 'Oil & Gas Drilling' industry over the past 1 year. The company's large, high-quality fleet of drilling rigs – especially the technologically advanced ‘Apex’ ones – are the key to its success. We believe Patterson-UTI's impending acquisition of smaller rival Seventy Seven Energy will bolster its scale and customer base, while helping to enhance its geographic footprint to most active basins in the U.S.  Moreover, with the significant advancement of crude oil from their 12-year lows reached in last February, producers are likely to revive spending on drilling activities that would spur rig count. This, in turn, will result in improved demand for oilfield equipments, thereby driving Patterson-UTI's revenues, earnings and cash flow.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group LLC raised their target price on Patterson-UTI Energy to $34.00 in a report on Friday, February 10th. Bank of America Corporation raised Patterson-UTI Energy from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 30th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $30.00 target price (up from $27.00) on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy in a report on Wednesday, December 14th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy in a report on Monday, January 9th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. assumed coverage on Patterson-UTI Energy in a report on Wednesday, January 18th. They set a buy rating and a $33.00 price target on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $26.00.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) traded down 3.02% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $28.58. The company had a trading volume of 1,589,946 shares. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.19 billion. Patterson-UTI Energy has a one year low of $13.92 and a one year high of $29.76. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $27.84 and its 200 day moving average price is $23.86.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 9th. The company reported ($0.53) EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.54) by $0.01. Patterson-UTI Energy had a negative return on equity of 13.25% and a negative net margin of 34.79%. The company had revenue of $247 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $228.83 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned ($0.40) EPS. Patterson-UTI Energy’s revenue for the quarter was down 27.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Patterson-UTI Energy will post ($1.44) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 8th will be paid a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.27%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 6th. Patterson-UTI Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -3.69%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in shares of Patterson-UTI Energy by 33.6% in the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 8,545,470 shares of the company’s stock worth $230,044,000 after buying an additional 2,151,132 shares during the period. Discovery Capital Management LLC CT purchased a new position in Patterson-UTI Energy during the fourth quarter valued at about $34,202,000. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in Patterson-UTI Energy during the third quarter valued at about $24,372,000. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its position in Patterson-UTI Energy by 5,069.9% in the third quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 1,061,331 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,742,000 after buying an additional 1,040,802 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Scout Investments Inc. purchased a new position in Patterson-UTI Energy during the second quarter valued at about $22,101,000. 98.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Patterson-UTI Energy

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc owns and operates fleets of land-based drilling rigs and a fleet of pressure pumping equipment in the United States. The Company operates in three segments: Contract Drilling, Pressure Pumping, and Oil and Natural Gas. The Company provides contract drilling services to oil and natural gas operators in the continental United States, and western and northern Canada.

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