Weatherford International (WFT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Weatherford International (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 Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Weatherford International Ltd.’s price chart underperformed the broader market indices over the last one year. 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.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group downgraded Weatherford International from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $3.00 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday. UBS Group set a $6.00 target price on Weatherford International and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group set a $6.00 price objective on Weatherford International and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Gabelli reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Weatherford International in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $5.00 price objective on Weatherford International and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, twenty have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $5.94.

Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) traded up $0.18 during trading on Friday, hitting $3.87. The stock had a trading volume of 29,320,515 shares, compared to its average volume of 23,480,000. Weatherford International has a fifty-two week low of $3.08 and a fifty-two week high of $7.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.44, a current ratio of 2.04 and a quick ratio of 1.33. The stock has a market cap of $3,660.00, a P/E ratio of -2.71 and a beta of 2.32.

Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas company reported ($0.22) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.24) by $0.02. Weatherford International had a negative return on equity of 67.44% and a negative net margin of 25.36%. The business had revenue of $1.46 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.49 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned ($0.39) EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Weatherford International will post -1.02 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Weatherford International news, VP Douglas M. Mills sold 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.75, for a total transaction of $28,125.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 271,625 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,018,593.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.16% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. MSI Financial Services Inc grew its holdings in shares of Weatherford International by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 20,738 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $117,000 after acquiring an additional 102 shares during the period. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC grew its holdings in shares of Weatherford International by 0.8% in the 1st quarter. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC now owns 32,964 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $220,000 after acquiring an additional 259 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Weatherford International by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 45,792 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $257,000 after acquiring an additional 420 shares during the period. Intl Fcstone Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Weatherford International by 0.8% in the 1st quarter. Intl Fcstone Inc. now owns 55,793 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $278,000 after acquiring an additional 437 shares during the period. Finally, GABELLI & Co INVESTMENT ADVISERS INC. grew its holdings in shares of Weatherford International by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. GABELLI & Co INVESTMENT ADVISERS INC. now owns 33,000 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $128,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the period.

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