The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Nabors Industries, Patterson-UTI Energy, Helmerich & Payne, Seadrill Partners and ABB

Feb 28, 2014, 09:30 ET from Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR-Free Report), Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (Nasdaq:PTEN-Free Report), Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP-Free Report), Seadrill Partners LLC (NYSE: SDLP-Free Report) and ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB-Free Report).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Buy Nabors Industries. Here's Why

On Feb 25, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hamilton, Bermuda-based onshore contract driller Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR-Free Report) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Nabors' strong fourth quarter numbers, together with the improving market outlook, make it a great stock to own.

Detailed Analysis

Nabors, which ranks ahead of Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (Nasdaq:PTEN-Free Report) as the largest North American onshore contractor, has a large, high-quality fleet of drilling and workover rigs. Over the years, the company has grown through cash flow reinvestments and acquisitions. In the process, Nabors has not only increased its rig fleet, but also extended its geographic reach and diversified its operating assets beyond land rigs.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations (excluding tax benefits) of 26 cents on Feb 18, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 30%. Revenues of $1,606.5 million were also up from the previous-year figure of $1,602.0 million. The outperformance was primarily due to impressive gains from international operations. Shares of the company popped more than 13% following the stellar numbers. Nabors added that domestic drilling fundamentals have improved considerably, with pricing and utilization expected to be strong during the near future

Finally, we welcome the company's last year's announcement to start paying out a portion of its earnings in the form of shareholder dividends. We believe that the dividend start-up not only highlights Nabors' commitment to create value for shareholders but also underlines the energy equipment supplier's confidence in its business going forward.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Nabors, investors interested in the 'Oil & Gas Drilling' sector may consider stocks like Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP-Free Report) and Seadrill Partners LLC (NYSE: SDLP-Free Report). Both of them carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and offer even better return than Nabors.

ABB Strengthens Presence in Brazil

ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB-Free Report) further strengthened its presence in Brazil by opening a fifth plant in Sorocaba near São Paulo to manufacture low-voltage products, motors, generators and drive systems. The opening of this new plant is a part of ABB's $200 million investment plan to support Brazil's economic growth through infrastructure and industrialization projects with the help of ABB's technology development and production capacity. Further, Brazil is enhancing its transmission and distribution infrastructure for the 2014 FIFA football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

The new facility began its operations in the second half of 2013 and, by 2015, this facility intends to generate as much as 1000 jobs, both directly and indirectly. Through this new factory, ABB can act as a single point of contact providing engineering, designing, assembling, packaging, testing and delivering equipment, while managing the assembly of compact substations.

Further, the factory also comprises service workshops to assist customers with maintenance and repair of motors. This apart, the plant also houses a repair and test workshop for analyzers and instruments. Moreover, ABB has ensured that this new plant matches the environmental requirements and therefore, apart from being highly energy efficient, the facility also makes the best use of natural light and recycles waste and water.

The presence of ABB in Brazil dates back to 1912, when ABB had supplied the electrical equipment for the first Sugar Loaf cable car in Rio de Janeiro. After that, since the 1950s, ABB has established factories and has been a key supplier to most of Brazil's main infrastructure and industrialization projects, such as, the Itaipu hydro plant and transmission line, which provides 20% of Brazil's electrical power.

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering the negative impacts on the environment.

ABB currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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