Friday, September 10, 2010

Noble (NYSE:NE) Upgraded by Credit Agricole

Noble Corp (NYSE:NE) is coming back into favor with some analysts and investors, and one of them is Credit Agricole, who upgraded Noble from "Underperform" to "Outperform. The also increased their price target from $32 to $39 a share.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) also showed interest in Noble recently, initiating coverage on them a couple of days ago.

Barron’s Jay Palmer also wrote an article in support of Noble several days ago, saying the company has positioned itself strongly in deepwater drilling, which will increasingly become a major source of oil and gas in emerging markets, including China.

Noble also has operations spread across the globe, lessening the impact of moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

Palmer gave this as a reason Noble remains negative to investors:

"One reason why Noble remains out of favor with investors is the company’s move this summer to purchase Frontier Drilling for $2.16 billion, money that investors would rather have seen distributed as a special dividend. The move, however, was quite canny, immediately doubling Noble’s backlog and adding seven rigs to its fleet. The deal also boosted the portion of revenue coming from deepwater rather than shallow-water operations, and deepwater is where the future action is."

Noble closed Thursday at $34.40, down $0.05, or 0.15 percent. Trading volume was low.

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