Ensco PLC (NYSE: ESV) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $10.50 price at Goldman Sachs on September 21. This was a whopping 58% higher than the prior $6.64 closing price, but the shares popped over 6% initially after the news to $7.05. Goldman Sachs noted that Ensco has been the worst-performing offshore driller so far in 2016 after dividend cuts and being removed from the S&P 500. The firm sees Ensco now trading at two to three points under peer valuations while having the best leverage to jack-ups and with exposure to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Its recent securities offering gives it a better balance sheet and liquidity position.
Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG) was raised to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James on September 23. The stock was assigned a $30 price target, versus a $25.57 prior closing price, implying upside of almost 20% if the call proves to be right. The consensus price target is $29.10, and the 52-week trading range is $14.88 to $26.74.
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $19 price target at Evercore ISI on September 20. This was versus a prior closing price of $14.94. We would point out that on September 21 a downgrade was issued by Goldman Sachs, to Sell from Neutral. Also, Goldman Sachs cut its target price to $10 from $18.50. One buy, one sell — it’s a Diamond Offshore ballgame now!
Energen Corp. (NYSE: EGN) was started with a Buy rating and was assigned a $66 price target at Canaccord Genuity on September 19. This was versus a $52.83 prior closing price. The report showed why Credit Suisse sees Western Refining generating 60% upside to 2020 in gains and dividends.
Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $49 price target (versus a $36.58 close) at Credit Suisse. It has a 52-week range of $19.21 to $46.96 and a consensus price target of $48.76.
Matador Resources Co. (NYSE: MTDR) was raised to Accumulate from Hold and was given a $25 price target at KLR Group on September 21. The prior close was $20.49. Matador shares closed at $21.20 on Friday, despite a 5% drop. Matador Resources has a 52-week range of $11.13 to $28.25. This exploration and production company is worth just $2 billion. It operates in Wolfcamp and Bone Spring in the Delaware Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas, and it has operations in the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas and the Haynesville shale and Cotton Valley in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas.
Elsewhere in the energy patch during the week of September 23, 2016: