Banc of America upgrades National Oilwell Varco
July 14 (Reuters) - Banc of America Securities upgraded National Oilwell Varco Inc (NOV) to "buy" from "neutral," citing a rise in orders for new rigs and the acquisition of Grant Prideco Inc (GRP).
"With an estimated 28 new offshore rigs ordered in the second quarter (a new record) and more planned, our concerns about a peak in backlog are off the table," analyst Douglas Becker wrote in a note to clients.
He estimates these rigs to result in $4.2 billion of orders for the maker of equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling and production in the next few quarters.
Becker raised his price target on the stock to $107 from $78.
Shares of National Oilwell were trading up more than 4 percent at $86.89 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Becker said the purchase of Grant Prideco was well-timed and expects it to add 50 cents to the company's 2009 earnings, based on an improving market outlook.
In April, National Oilwell bought peer Grant Prideco for about $7 billion.
(Reporting by Mary Meyase in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard Orr)