Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR) and Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership and profitabiliy.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Nabors Industries and Pacific Drilling’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nabors Industries $2.19 billion 1.00 $562.51 million ($2.74) -2.81
Pacific Drilling $669.60 million 0.05 $327.38 million ($6.32) -0.25

Nabors Industries has higher revenue and earnings than Pacific Drilling. Nabors Industries is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Pacific Drilling, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Nabors Industries has a beta of 1.56, suggesting that its share price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pacific Drilling has a beta of 2.56, suggesting that its share price is 156% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Nabors Industries pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Pacific Drilling does not pay a dividend. Nabors Industries pays out -8.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Pacific Drilling has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.


This table compares Nabors Industries and Pacific Drilling’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nabors Industries -36.49% -11.57% -4.77%
Pacific Drilling -20.08% -5.40% -2.44%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Nabors Industries and Pacific Drilling, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nabors Industries 0 9 16 0 2.64
Pacific Drilling 0 2 0 0 2.00

Nabors Industries presently has a consensus price target of $14.98, suggesting a potential upside of 94.73%. Pacific Drilling has a consensus price target of $6.00, suggesting a potential upside of 277.36%. Given Pacific Drilling’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Pacific Drilling is more favorable than Nabors Industries.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

7.1% of Pacific Drilling shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.1% of Nabors Industries shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Nabors Industries beats Pacific Drilling on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Nabors Industries

Nabors Industries Ltd. owns and operates a land-based drilling rig fleet. The Company is a provider of offshore platform drilling rigs in the United States and multiple international markets. The Company conducts its Drilling & Rig Services business through four segments: U.S. Drilling, Canada Drilling, International Drilling and Rig Services. The Company provides wellbore placement services, drilling software and performance tools, drilling equipment and various technologies throughout the oil and gas markets. The Company’s Drilling & Rig Services business comprises land-based and offshore drilling rig operations and other rig services, consisting of equipment manufacturing, rig instrumentation and optimization software. The Company is a provider of directional drilling and measurement while drilling (MWD) systems and services. The Company also provides drilling technology and equipment, and well-site services.

About Pacific Drilling

Pacific Drilling S.A. is an international offshore drilling contractor. The Company provides offshore drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry through the use of high-specification rigs. The Company’s primary business is to contract its high-specification rigs, related equipment and work crews, primarily on a day rate basis, to drill wells for its clients. The Company is engaged in drillships segment. The Company focuses on the high-specification segment of the floating rig market. The Company considers high-specification requirements to include rigs in water depths of approximately 7,500 feet or projects requiring advanced operating capabilities, such as hook-loads (>800 tons), accommodations (over 200 beds), mud storage and pumping capacity, and deck-load and space capabilities. The Company’s contract drillships operate in the deepwater regions of the United States, Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria.

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