Noble Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Noble (NYSE:NE) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Wednesday, January 23, 2013. 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 net income of 63 cents per share, a rise of 26% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 82 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 68 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 62.1% versus last year to $2.14.

Past Earnings Performance: The company missed estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported profit of 45 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 50 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by 2 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $964.3 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 28.4% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $3.54 billion for the year, a rise of 31.1% from last year’s revenue of $2.7 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between November 16, 2012 and January 16, 2013, the stock price had risen $5.45 (16.3%), from $33.51 to $38.96. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 24, 2012 and May 1, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 4.8% (+$1.79) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 20, 2012 and December 28, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 6.3% (-$2.31) over that span.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 15.2% to $114.8 million (45 cents a share) from $135.3 million (53 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 19.8% to $884 million from $737.9 million.

Here’s how Noble Corp traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

NE

Key Stats:

With double-digit revenue growth the past four quarters, this earnings release is a chance to keep that positive trend going. The company has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of 29.4% over the last four quarters.

After last quarter’s profit drop broke a string of income increases, this earnings announcement is definitely a chance for a rebound. Net income rose 28.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, more than twofold in the first quarter and more than twofold in the second quarter before declining in the third quarter.

Analyst Ratings: With 21 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and one rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.55 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 1.6 in the second quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 4.3% to $842.2 million while assets rose 1.3% to $1.3 billion.

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