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Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,444,643 shares, an increase of 34.9% from the July 31st total of 3,295,778 shares, AnalystRatingsNetwork.com reports. Approximately 3.1% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,651,132 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.7 days.

A number of research firms have recently commented on PTEN. Analysts at Wunderlich raised their price target on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy from $34.00 to $37.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 29th. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Global Hunter Securities raised their price target on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy from $43.00 to $46.00 in a research note on Monday, July 28th. Finally, analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $35.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $30.00. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Patterson-UTI Energy presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $36.85.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) opened at 34.54 on Monday. Patterson-UTI Energy has a 52 week low of $18.83 and a 52 week high of $38.43. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $34.41 and its 200-day moving average is $32.59. The company has a market cap of $4.994 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.27.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) last released its earnings data on Thursday, July 24th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $757.28 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $708.56 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.28 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Patterson-UTI Energy will post $1.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, September 24th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 10th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 8th.

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc (NASDAQ:PTEN) owns and operates fleets of land-based drilling rigs in the United States.

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