Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) and Independence Contract Drilling (NYSE:ICD) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Noble Corporation and Independence Contract Drilling, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Noble Corporation 7 15 6 0 1.96
Independence Contract Drilling 0 1 6 0 2.86

Noble Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $6.11, suggesting a potential upside of 49.02%. Independence Contract Drilling has a consensus price target of $7.10, suggesting a potential upside of 89.33%. Given Independence Contract Drilling’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Independence Contract Drilling is more favorable than Noble Corporation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

99.6% of Noble Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.6% of Independence Contract Drilling shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.6% of Noble Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.8% of Independence Contract Drilling shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Noble Corporation has a beta of 2.14, meaning that its stock price is 114% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Independence Contract Drilling has a beta of 2.77, meaning that its stock price is 177% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Noble Corporation and Independence Contract Drilling’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Noble Corporation $2.01 billion 0.50 $1.16 billion ($5.55) -0.74
Independence Contract Drilling $67.84 million 2.08 $7.49 million ($0.76) -4.93

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

Profitability

This table compares Noble Corporation and Independence Contract Drilling’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Noble Corporation -65.11% -1.69% -1.00%
Independence Contract Drilling -41.32% -7.32% -6.33%

Dividends

Noble Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.02 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Independence Contract Drilling does not pay a dividend. Noble Corporation pays out -0.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Noble Corporation Company Profile

Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The Company performs contract drilling services with its fleet of 79 mobile offshore drilling units and one floating production storage and offloading unit (NYSE:NE) located globally.

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