Head to Head Survey: Pacific Drilling (PACDQ) vs. Ensco (ESV)

Pacific Drilling (OTCMKTS: PACDQ) and Ensco (NYSE:ESV) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Pacific Drilling and Ensco, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pacific Drilling 0 0 0 0 N/A
Ensco 3 7 9 0 2.32

Ensco has a consensus target price of $8.32, suggesting a potential upside of 42.93%. Given Ensco’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Ensco is more favorable than Pacific Drilling.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Pacific Drilling and Ensco’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pacific Drilling $769.47 million 0.02 -$37.15 million ($20.58) -0.03
Ensco $2.78 billion 0.91 $890.20 million ($0.19) -30.63

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


Ensco pays an annual dividend of $0.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Pacific Drilling does not pay a dividend. Ensco pays out -21.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Pacific Drilling has a beta of 3.23, suggesting that its stock price is 223% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ensco has a beta of 1.83, suggesting that its stock price is 83% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

0.4% of Pacific Drilling shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.9% of Ensco shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of Ensco shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pacific Drilling -101.35% -17.63% -7.68%
Ensco -3.04% -0.37% -0.22%


Ensco beats Pacific Drilling on 13 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

About Ensco

Ensco plc is an offshore contract drilling company. The Company provides offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry. Its segments include Floaters, Jackups and Other. The Floaters segment includes its drillships and semisubmersible rigs, and provides contract drilling. Other consists of management services on rigs owned by third parties. The Floaters and the Jackups segments provide contract drilling. It owned and operated an offshore drilling rig fleet of 57 rigs, including two rigs under construction, with drilling operations around the world, as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, its rig fleet included eight drill ships, 10 dynamically positioned semisubmersible rigs, three moored semisubmersible rigs and 38 jackup rigs. As of December 31, 2016, of its 59 rigs, 25 were located in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, 16 were located in North and South America (including Brazil) and 18 were located in Europe and the Mediterranean.

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