Noble Earnings on Deck

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Noble (NYSE:NE) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Noble is a contract driller of oil and natural gas wells. It provides customers in the oil and gas industry with offshore drilling services and engineering and consulting services.

Noble Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 52 cents per share, a rise of 6.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 70 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 60 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 85.6% versus last year to $2.45.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to make a streak of three quarters of beating estimates. Last quarter, it beat expectations by reporting net income of 59 cents per share, and the previous quarter, it had profit of 47 cents.

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A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose more than twofold to $159.8 million (63 cents a share) from $54.1 million (21 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 43.1% to $898.9 million from $628 million.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $912.1 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 23.6% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $3.63 billion for the year, a rise of 34.4% from last year’s revenue of $2.7 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between September 13, 2012 and October 11, 2012, the stock price dropped $2.75 (-7.1%), from $38.59 to $35.84. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 11, 2012 and January 20, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 13.7% (+$4.19) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 15, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 12.9% (-$4.82) over that span.

Key Stats:

The company enters this earnings announcement with substantial revenue momentum. The company has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of 29.5% over the last four quarters.

This upcoming earnings announcement will be a chance to build on positive earnings momentum over the last three quarters. Net income rose 28.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and more than twofold in the first quarter before increasing again in the second quarter.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.6 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, for every dollar the company owes in the short term, it has that figure available in assets that can be converted to cash in the short term. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 1.84 in the first quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 18.5% to $807.1 million while assets rose 2.6% to $1.29 billion.

Analyst Ratings: With 22 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and none rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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