Rowan Shares Fall on Stock Downgrade

Shares of Rowan Cos. fell 5 percent after Robert W. Baird lowered its rating on the Houston-based provider of offshore drilling and aviation services to "neutral" from "outperform."

Shares of Rowan (RDC) fell $1.10 to $21.32 in the latest dealings.

Robert W. Baird sees limited near-term upside in Rowan's stock, given sustained weakness in the drilling market in the Gulf of Mexico and low visibility on contract opportunities for idle Gorilla-class rigs, according to a research note from analyst George Gaspar.

Gaspar lowered his first-quarter loss-per-share target to 5 cents. The previous estimate was for a gain of a penny.

He also cut his 2004 earnings-per-share estimate to 36 cents from 56 cents, "reflecting almost entirely lower expectations for the offshore contract drilling segment," he said.