Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 14,060,254 shares, a decline of 17.2% from the July 14th total of 16,985,315 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 5,060,652 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.8 days. Currently, 6.7% of the shares of the company are short sold.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Patterson-UTI Energy from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $35.00 price target on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $25.00 price target (down from $35.00) on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy in a research note on Monday, July 31st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Patterson-UTI Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $23.00 price target on shares of Patterson-UTI Energy in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.38.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Patterson-UTI Energy by 86.2% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 10,053 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 4,653 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Patterson-UTI Energy by 11.7% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 10,392 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $210,000 after buying an additional 1,089 shares during the period. Madden Advisory Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Patterson-UTI Energy during the second quarter worth about $236,000. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. raised its position in shares of Patterson-UTI Energy by 7.1% in the second quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. now owns 11,740 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $237,000 after buying an additional 780 shares during the period. Finally, Pacad Investment Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Patterson-UTI Energy during the second quarter worth about $246,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.78% of the company’s stock.

Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN) opened at 16.83 on Friday. Patterson-UTI Energy has a 12-month low of $16.80 and a 12-month high of $29.76. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $19.58 and a 200 day moving average of $22.99. The stock’s market cap is $3.56 billion.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.21) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.30) by $0.09. Patterson-UTI Energy had a negative return on equity of 10.03% and a negative net margin of 23.78%. The firm had revenue of $579 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $556.47 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($0.58) EPS. The business’s revenue was up 198.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Patterson-UTI Energy will post ($0.91) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 21st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 7th will be given a dividend of $0.02 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 6th. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.48%. Patterson-UTI Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -4.06%.

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About Patterson-UTI Energy

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc is an oilfield services company. The Company owns and operates a fleet of land-based drilling rigs and a fleet of pressure pumping equipment in the United States. The Company’s segments include Contract Drilling, Pressure Pumping and Other operations. The Contract Drilling segment markets its contract drilling services to independent and other oil and natural gas operators.

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