Noble Energy Earnings Preview

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Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that Noble Energy (NYS: NBL) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday. Noble Energy is an independent energy company that acquires and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Noble Energy, with 12 of 18 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Noble Energy better than competitor Marathon Oil overall. Analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, but they are a bit more wary about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $927 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 22.8% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $1.04 per share. Estimates range from $0.87 to $1.38.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 97.5% granting it an outperform rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 96.7% assigning it a rating of outperform. Fools are bullish on Noble Energy, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 89 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, Noble Energy's CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
Noble Energy's profit has risen year over year by an average of more than twofold over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters. The company raised its gross margin by 4.4 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 31.2% while cost of sales rose 10.4% to $223 million from a year earlier.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

76.6%

76.4%

70.9%

75.6%

Operating Margin

30.8%

38.6%

28.1%

40.6%

Net Margin

30.8%

1.6%

6.9%

32.2%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on Noble Energy movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your watchlist.

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At the time this article was published

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