Based on the number of near-term challenges, we are lowering our recommendation for Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) to Underperform from Neutral. The land drilling contractor is facing headwinds in the pressure pumping market on the back of collapsing prices and lower utilization.
The recent weakness in the North American onshore rig count has also been a negative. As usual, we remain concerned about weak natural gas fundamentals, which are likely to limit the company's ability to generate positive earnings surprises. Nabors fairly debt-heavy balance sheet also remains an issue.
Considering these factors, we see Nabors as a risky bet from which ordinary investors should exit. This is corroborated by our new Underperform recommendation and the $13 price objective, which is based on 2012 P/E multiple of 7.0X.
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