Weatherford International Plc (NYSE:WFT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, October 17th.

According to Zacks, “Weatherford International Ltd.’s price chart underperformed the broader market indices over the last three months. The company’s debt-heavy balance sheet and inadequate cash balances are other concerns. The debt increased by nearly 30% during 2016 with little sign of reduction during the 2017 so far. Further, cash balance plunged by over 43% so far this year. This reflects the weakness of its balance sheet. Moreover, the credit ratings of the company’s bonds were downgraded by multiple credit rating agencies in 2016.  Given high debt load and weak credit ratings we think that Weatherford might face difficulties in generating debt capital for financing future growth projects. Volatile gas prices also remain a drag. Under these headwinds, we expect shares of Weatherford to be under pressure in the near future.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on WFT. BidaskClub cut Weatherford International Plc from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $8.00 target price on Weatherford International Plc and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $6.00 target price on Weatherford International Plc and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on Weatherford International Plc from $4.75 to $5.50 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Weatherford International Plc from $6.00 to $5.50 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $6.18.

Weatherford International Plc (NYSE WFT) traded down 3.24% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $3.29. The stock had a trading volume of 3,746,427 shares. Weatherford International Plc has a 52-week low of $3.26 and a 52-week high of $7.09. The company’s market cap is $3.25 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $4.14 and its 200-day moving average price is $4.48.

Weatherford International Plc (NYSE:WFT) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.28) EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.28). Weatherford International Plc had a negative return on equity of 65.33% and a negative net margin of 53.49%. The firm had revenue of $1.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.46 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned ($0.28) EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Weatherford International Plc will post ($1.04) EPS for the current fiscal year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: “Weatherford International Plc (WFT) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research” was originally posted by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are viewing this article on another site, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of United States & international copyright laws. The correct version of this article can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/10/17/weatherford-international-plc-wft-downgraded-by-zacks-investment-research-to-sell.html.

In other news, VP Douglas M. Mills sold 17,500 shares of Weatherford International Plc stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $4.43, for a total transaction of $77,525.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 279,125 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,236,523.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.16% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WFT. Harris Associates L P raised its position in shares of Weatherford International Plc by 2,166.3% during the 2nd quarter. Harris Associates L P now owns 61,075,275 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $236,361,000 after buying an additional 58,380,345 shares during the period. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC raised its position in shares of Weatherford International Plc by 71.9% during the 2nd quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 29,156,413 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $112,835,000 after buying an additional 12,194,205 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Weatherford International Plc during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $42,887,000. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Weatherford International Plc by 10.4% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 48,956,761 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $325,562,000 after buying an additional 4,621,797 shares during the period. Finally, Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Weatherford International Plc by 59.5% during the 2nd quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 10,938,200 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $42,331,000 after buying an additional 4,082,000 shares during the period.

About Weatherford International Plc

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Weatherford International Plc (WFT)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Weatherford International Plc (NYSE:WFT)

Receive News & Ratings for Weatherford International Plc Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Weatherford International Plc and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.