National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has a $39.00 price objective on the oil and gas exploration company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.33% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Ahead of National Oilwell Varco's Q3 results, we are taking a bullish stance on the company. Aggressive cost reduction and improved efficiencies helped the energy equipment maker wade through tough industry conditions prevailing over the past few years. Moreover, with oil now stabilizing around the $50 per barrel level, NOV is eyeing higher product sales. While maintaining its decent track record of earnings surprise history of a single miss in the last 4 quarters, NOV has performed better than the Zacks 'Oil Field machineries & Equipment' industry during that period. We further believe that the drilling equipment maker’s large installed base of worldwide rigs provide for a steady recurring revenue stream. Consequently, we think NOV offers upside potential from current levels and label it as an attractive investment.”

NOV has been the subject of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $35.00 target price on shares of National Oilwell Varco and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, July 29th. FBR & Co reissued a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of National Oilwell Varco in a report on Thursday, August 31st. Scotiabank set a $37.00 target price on shares of National Oilwell Varco and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub cut shares of National Oilwell Varco from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $50.00 target price (down previously from $60.00) on shares of National Oilwell Varco in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.59.

Shares of National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) traded up 0.17% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $35.09. 410,890 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $33.19 and its 200-day moving average is $34.01. National Oilwell Varco has a 12 month low of $29.90 and a 12 month high of $43.63. The stock’s market cap is $13.34 billion.

National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas exploration company reported ($0.14) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.14). National Oilwell Varco had a negative net margin of 33.24% and a negative return on equity of 2.12%. The firm had revenue of $1.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.78 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.30) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that National Oilwell Varco will post ($0.41) earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NOV. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in National Oilwell Varco during the fourth quarter worth about $1,171,647,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in National Oilwell Varco by 3,189.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 24,841,300 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $995,890,000 after acquiring an additional 24,086,060 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in National Oilwell Varco by 21.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 35,511,716 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $1,194,969,000 after acquiring an additional 6,330,248 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in National Oilwell Varco during the fourth quarter worth about $132,512,000. Finally, Vulcan Value Partners LLC boosted its position in National Oilwell Varco by 28.3% during the fourth quarter. Vulcan Value Partners LLC now owns 14,630,914 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $489,989,000 after acquiring an additional 3,227,527 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.29% of the company’s stock.

National Oilwell Varco Company Profile

National Oilwell Varco, Inc is an oilfield equipment manufacturer and technology provider. The Company operates through four segments: Rig Systems, Rig Aftermarket, Wellbore Technologies and Completion & Production Solutions. The Rig Systems segment makes and supports the capital equipment and integrated systems needed to drill oil and gas wells on land and offshore.

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Analyst Recommendations for National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV)

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