Noble Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Noble Corp (NYSE:NE) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 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 Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 53 cents per share, a rise of 35.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. 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. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.34 per share, a decline of 56.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company showed profit of 49 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of last quarter. This marks the fourth month of falling short of estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $776 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 20.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $2.71 billion for the year, a decline of 3.6% from last year’s revenue of $2.81 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 20 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 57.3% to $135.3 million (53 cents a share) from $86 million (34 cents a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 20.5% to $737.9 million from $612.6 million.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue increase in the third quarter snapped a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 11.5% in the second quarter, 31.2% in the first quarter and 31.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The increase in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit decreases. Net income dropped 75.2% in the second quarter, 85.3% in the first quarter and 77.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE:DO), Pride International, Inc. (NYSE:PDE), Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ:HERO), ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV), Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW), Vantage Drilling Company (AMEX:VTG), Seahawk Drilling, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAWK), and Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:RDC).

Stock Price Performance: During December 19, 2011 to January 19, 2012, the stock price had risen $4.65 (15.5%) from $29.96 to $34.61. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 24, 2011 and September 1, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 13.2% (+$3.94) 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, falling 12.9% (-$4.82) over that span.

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

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