Stock Analyst Update

Nabors Still Cheap After Adjusting Fair Values

Preston Caldwell

We're updating our models and fair value estimates for land drillers.  Helmerich & Payne (HP) moves up to $41 per share from $40 per share, but the rest move down, with  Nabors (NBR) going to $5.50 from $6, Precision going to $2 (CAD 2.75) from $2.25 (CAD 3), and Patterson going to $10 from $13.25. Our no moat ratings for each of the names remains unchanged.

The changes come chiefly from revised U.S. land drilling forecasts. Essentially, we are increasing our U.S. land rig count forecasts for Helmerich & Payne (by about 11 rigs, or 5%) at the expense of its competitors. The company is preparing to upgrade many of its rigs to "super spec" status in coming quarters, which we think will prove successful in garnering higher utilization for those rigs. In the long run, we also think Helmerich & Payne's heightened competition will slightly degrade competitors' margins compared to our prior expectations. However, we have slightly increased our expectations for Nabors' U.S. land margins (in terms of gross margins per rig-day), owing to the company's strong performance in recent quarters.

Additionally, part of the lowering in our Nabors fair value comes from slightly more conservative international drilling forecasts. Also, about half of the reduction in our Patterson fair value comes from lower forecasts for its pressure pumping segment, which has posted disappointing results in recent quarters.

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Preston Caldwell does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.