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Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) shares traded down 2.3% on Thursday following insider selling activity, American Banking and Market News reports. The company traded as low as $51.30 and last traded at $51.86, with a volume of 2,020,685 shares. The stock had previously closed at $53.06.

Specifically, VP John Stokes Knowlton sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total value of $400,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

A number of research firms have recently commented on ESV. Analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Ensco Plc from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 26th. Separately, analysts at Jefferies Group downgraded shares of Ensco Plc from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 19th. They now have a $56.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $58.00. Finally, analysts at Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Ensco Plc in a research note on Friday, May 16th. They now have a $42.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $44.00. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Ensco Plc presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.89.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $51.0 and a 200-day moving average of $53.19. The company has a market cap of $12.103 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.77.

Ensco Plc (NYSE:ESV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 29th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $1.18. The company had revenue of $1.19 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $534.41 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.36 earnings per share. Ensco Plc’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Ensco Plc will post $5.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, June 20th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 9th will be given a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 5th.

Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV) is a provider of offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry.

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