Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Weatherford International (WFT) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Weatherford International Ltd.’s price chart underperformed the broader market indices over the last one year. The company’s debt-heavy balance sheet and inadequate cash balances are other concerns. The debt increased by nearly 30% during 2016 with little sign of reduction during the 2017 so far. Further, cash balance plunged by over 43% so far this year. This reflects the weakness of its balance sheet. Moreover, the credit ratings of the company’s bonds were downgraded by multiple credit rating agencies in 2016.  Given high debt load and weak credit ratings we think that Weatherford might face difficulties in generating debt capital for financing future growth projects. Volatile gas prices also remain a drag. Under these headwinds, we expect shares of Weatherford to be under pressure in the near future.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group downgraded shares of Weatherford International from a hold rating to an underperform rating and set a $3.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Thursday, January 4th. UBS Group set a $6.00 price objective on shares of Weatherford International and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $6.00 price objective on shares of Weatherford International and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Gabelli reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Weatherford International in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $5.00 target price on Weatherford International and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, twenty have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Weatherford International presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $5.94.

Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) opened at $4.05 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $3,840.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -2.83 and a beta of 2.32. The company has a quick ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 2.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.44. Weatherford International has a 1-year low of $3.08 and a 1-year high of $7.09.

Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas company reported ($0.22) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.24) by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $1.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.49 billion. Weatherford International had a negative net margin of 25.36% and a negative return on equity of 67.44%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.39) earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Weatherford International will post -1.02 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Douglas M. Mills sold 7,500 shares of Weatherford International stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.75, for a total transaction of $28,125.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 271,625 shares in the company, valued at $1,018,593.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.16% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Balentine LLC raised its stake in shares of Weatherford International by 68.5% during the third quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 36,706 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $168,000 after purchasing an additional 14,922 shares in the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC raised its stake in shares of Weatherford International by 40.6% during the third quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 447,470 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,049,000 after purchasing an additional 129,121 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in shares of Weatherford International by 61.0% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 191,986 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $880,000 after purchasing an additional 72,741 shares in the last quarter. Boothbay Fund Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Weatherford International by 450.0% during the third quarter. Boothbay Fund Management LLC now owns 54,998 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $252,000 after purchasing an additional 44,998 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Weatherford International by 5,565.1% during the third quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 1,389,998 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $6,366,000 after purchasing an additional 1,365,462 shares in the last quarter.

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