Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “We are recalibrating our investment thesis on Helmerich & Payne from Buy to Hold. Higher drilling activity at its biggest segment – U.S. Land – helped HP come out with narrower-than-expected loss. The rally in crude prices over the past year have led to strengthening fundamentals and increasing level of rig activity. In particular, HP's U.S. land drilling business has been able to grow its utilization and dayrates amid pricing improvements. As it is, we believe the proprietary FlexRigs will continue to benefit from the shift to complex onshore plays that require highly intensive solutions. But with large, multinational energy firms looking to reign in their skyrocketing capital expenses, the drilling space is witnessing intense competition, as multiple firms chase a single contract. This will continue to impact the earnings adversely in the near-to medium term.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on HP. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered shares of Helmerich & Payne from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of Helmerich & Payne in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Cowen reissued a market perform rating and set a $60.00 target price (up from $50.00) on shares of Helmerich & Payne in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Societe Generale raised shares of Helmerich & Payne from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Argus boosted their target price on shares of Helmerich & Payne from $65.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $57.68.

Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) opened at $63.62 on Thursday. Helmerich & Payne has a fifty-two week low of $42.16 and a fifty-two week high of $75.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 2.89 and a current ratio of 3.28.

Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The oil and gas company reported ($0.02) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.16) by $0.14. Helmerich & Payne had a net margin of 20.30% and a negative return on equity of 1.90%. The business had revenue of $564.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $547.64 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted ($0.33) EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 53.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Helmerich & Payne will post -0.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 12th will be paid a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.40%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 9th. Helmerich & Payne’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.09%.

In other news, Director Chapman Paula Marshall sold 4,122 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.40, for a total value of $294,310.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 16,647 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,188,595.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 4.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its holdings in shares of Helmerich & Payne by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 4,140 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $225,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Helmerich & Payne by 42.7% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 5,528 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $296,000 after purchasing an additional 1,654 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Helmerich & Payne by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 58,419 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $3,175,000 after purchasing an additional 1,170 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada raised its holdings in shares of Helmerich & Payne by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 62,659 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $3,404,000 after purchasing an additional 3,264 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Helmerich & Payne by 8.8% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 57,750 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $3,138,000 after purchasing an additional 4,650 shares in the last quarter.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This piece of content was first reported by TheOlympiaReport and is owned by of TheOlympiaReport. If you are reading this piece of content on another website, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of US and international copyright & trademark laws. The correct version of this piece of content can be viewed at https://theolympiareport.com/2018/02/12/helmerich-payne-hp-rating-lowered-to-hold-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

About Helmerich & Payne

Helmerich & Payne, Inc is engaged in contract drilling of oil and gas wells for others. The Company operates in the contract drilling industry. The Company’s contract drilling business consists of three segments: U.S. Land, Offshore and International Land. The Company is also engaged in the ownership, development and operation of commercial real estate and the research and development of rotary steerable technology.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Helmerich & Payne (HP)

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

Analyst Recommendations for Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP)

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