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Here's Why Nabors (NBR) Rallies 33% Since Q1 Earnings Report

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Shares of Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR - Free Report) have surged almost 33% since its first-quarter 2020 earnings announcement on May 5. The rally happened despite the company’s bottom-line miss. Nabors’ gain followed reports of buying by financial services organisation State Street. 

Let’s see the reasons behind this stock price upsurge and also dig deep into recently reported quarterly results:

Stock Jumps After State Street Buys Stake

Nabors gained traction as the financial services giant State Street reportedly bought around 299.7 thousand shares in the company on May 11. Generally, stake buying by a large fund instills investors' faith in the stock.

Here's How Nabors Commenced 2020

Nabors’first-quarter 2020 loss from continuing operations (excluding special items) of $19.86 per share is wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $15.03 as well as the year-ago loss of $18, primarily due to weak performance at the U.S. drilling and Rig Technologies segments.

However, quarterly revenues of $715.2 million came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate for sales of $705 million on the back of strong contribution from the Canadian Drilling segment. Meanwhile, the top line declined from the year-ago level of $809 million.

Notably, year over year, Nabors’ adjusted EBITDA fell from $196.9 million to $187.7 million.

Nabors Industries Ltd Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Nabors Industries Ltd Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Nabors Industries Ltd price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Nabors Industries Ltd Quote

Segmental Performance

U.S. Drilling generated quarterly operating revenues of $274.9 million, down 14.1% from the year-ago level of $320.2 million. The segment recorded an operating loss of $7.4 million against the year-ago income of $24.6 million due to a drop in rig count at Lower 48.

Canadian Drilling’s revenues of $25.6 million in the quarter under review were marginally up from the year-ago figure of $25.3 million. Moreover, the segment’s operating income came in at $37 thousand against the year-ago quarter’s loss of $59 thousand as rig activity in the market reached its seasonal peak.

International Drilling’s operational revenues of $337.1 million decreased from the year-ago quarter’s $337.3 million. However, the segmental operating loss of $4.14 million in the reported quarter narrowed from the prior-year loss of $5.63 million.

Revenues from the Drilling Solutions were 15.3% down to $55.4 million in the first quarter from $65.4 million a year ago and the same further missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $58 million. Moreover, the unit’s operating income of $10.54 million declined from $12.85 million. This can be attributed to ramped-down activity across service lines, mainly in the United States as the industry rig count was affected.

Revenues from the Rig Technologies segment plunged 41.3% to $42.15 million from the prior-year level of $71.7 million. The same also lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $62 million. Moreover, the segment’s operating loss deteriorated to $8.15 million from the prior-year loss of $5.14 million. This downside is due to soft aftermarket sales of parts alongside lower services in the United States.


Total costs and expenses rose to $1,071 million from $882.9 million in the year-ago quarter, reflecting higher depreciation costs and impairment charges.  

As of Mar 31, 2020, the company had $489.6 million in cash and short-term investments and a long-term debt of $3.38 billion with total debt to total capital of 68.5%.


The unexpected drop in oil prices and weakness in global demand due to the novel coronavirus outbreak are taking a toll on oil and energy companies. The industry players are forced to delay their expansion plans and trim capital expenditures to preserve liquidity. 

Nabors announced a 2020 capex guidance cut to $240 million, indicating a $185 million decrease from the year-earlier reported figure.

The company is making efforts to rationalize its operating activities by realigning its organizational structures. With the prevalent market scenario in mind, this Hamilton-based entity’s executive officers plan a reduction of $85 million in overhead expenses for the rest of the year.

Apart from the cost-control exercise, this land-drilling contractor intends to halt its dividend payout to save $7 million cash in 2020, prompted by the business slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Per the company, competitive pressures are likely to dent daily margins of the U.S. Drilling segment to nearly $9,000 in the second quarter of 2020.

Zacks Rank & Performance of Other Energy Players

Nabors has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Among other players in the energy sector that already reported first-quarter earnings, the bottom-line results of Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG - Free Report) , Murphy USA Inc. (MUSA - Free Report) and Williams Companies Inc. (WMB - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate by 204.3%, 4.3% and 4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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