Shares of Nabors Industries Ltd.’s ( NBR Quick Quote NBR - Free Report) have rallied 23.2% since third-quarter 2020 earnings release on Nov 3. Along with higher-than-expected results, investors are optimistic about the company’s full-year cost-controlling efforts. Nabors’third-quarter 2020 loss from continuing operations (excluding special items) of $22.81 per share is narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $24.63. This outperformance can be attributed to better-than-expected revenues from the Rig Technologies segment, and lower costs and expenses. However, the loss was wider than the year-ago loss of $15.50, primarily due to weak performance at the U.S. drilling and Drilling Solutions segments. Quarterly revenues of $437.6 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $451 million and also declined from the year-ago level of $757 million. Notably, year over year, Nabors’ adjusted EBITDA fell from $207 million to $114.2 million. Segmental Performance U.S. Drilling generated quarterly operating revenues of $130.2 million, down 57.7% from the year-ago level of $307.8 million. The segment recorded an operating loss of $39.2 million against the year-ago income of $12.4 million due to a drop in the rig count at Lower 48. Canadian Drilling’s revenues of $10.8 million in the quarter under review tumbled from the year-ago figure of $12.2 million. However, the segment’s operating loss came in at $3.5 million, narrower than the year-ago quarter’s loss of $5.7 million, attributable to improvement in average daily gross margin as a result of higher average working rig count. International Drilling’s operational revenues of $248.4 million decreased from the year-ago quarter’s sales of $328.3 million. Moreover, the segmental operating loss came in at $16.9 million in the reported quarter against the prior-year income of $2.5 million due to weak activity across several markets. Revenues from the Drilling Solutions were 52.9% down to $29.3 million in the third quarter from $62.3 million a year ago and the same further missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.3 million. Moreover, the unit’s operating loss of $3.6 million came against the year-ago profit of $16.1 million due to diminished activity across service lines and an increased price competition. Revenues from the Rig Technologies segment plunged 54.9% to $28.5 million from the prior-year level of $63.1 million. However, the metric surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $26.9 million. Meanwhile, the segment’s operating loss widened to $1.8 million from the prior-year loss of $641 thousand. This downside is due to weak capital equipment sales. Financials Total costs and expenses declined to $587.9 million from $832.5 million in the year-ago quarter, reflecting lower depreciation costs, and general and administrative expenses. As of Sep 30, 2020, the company had $513.8 million in cash and short-term investments, and a long-term debt of $3.3 billion with total debt to total capital of 72.4%. Nabors generated free cash flow of $9 million in the third quarter. Guidance Nabors announced its 2020 capex guidance of $200 million, down from the prior guidance of $240 million. Further, it projects adjusted EBITDA to decline in the fourth quarter as its international rig count is anticipated to fall persistently through the remaining year after decreasing 13% in the third quarter, sequentially. This Hamilton-based entity’s fourth-quarter average Lower 48 rig count is anticipated to increase by two to four rigs from the third-quarter’s average of 48 rigs. Additionally, the company projects its drilling margins between $8,500 and $9,000, implying the continued impact of soft pricing. Meanwhile, its Canada Drilling segment estimates its fourth-quarter rig activity to be equal to the third-quarter level. Also, the company expects fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA for Drilling Solutions and Rig Technologies to remain roughly in line with the third-quarter results. The company expects to generate free cash flow of nearly $90-$100 million in the fourth quarter. Zacks Rank & Key Picks Nabors currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the space are energy Oasis Petroleum Inc. , Antero Resources Corporation ( AR Quick Quote AR - Free Report) and Matador Resources Company ( MTDR Quick Quote MTDR - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here . More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2021.
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