Friday, October 1, 2010

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Slashes Noble (NYSE:NE) EPS Estimate

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) has lowered its earnings per share estimate for Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE), citing the delay of a GOM newbuild semisubmersible.

In a note to clients, Citigroup analyst Robin Shoemaker said, "The accumulated downtime over the last two and a half months was anticipated, but the increased effective tax rate for 3Q10 and delay in the start of a GOM newbuild semisubmersible are negatives we did not expect. Although the implications of this fleet status are negative, we would buy the stock on today's correction. We expect the GOM rigs now on standby will return to work in late 1Q11 and view the recently acquired Frontier backlog as adding stability until the drilling market recovers."

Consequently, earnings for 2010 were lowered from $3.90 to $3.30, "following its first fleet status update since July 8," added Shoemaker.

Noble was trading at $33.57, down $0.22, or 0.65 percent, at 2:40 PM EDT.

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