What happened

Shares of RPC (NYSE:RES) rallied more than 10% by 2:30 p.m. EDT on Monday. Fueling the energy company's bounce-back was an analyst upgrade ahead of its third-quarter report.

So what

An analyst at Citi upgraded shares of RPC from a "sell" to "neutral," while increasing the bank's price target from $4.80 to $4.90 per share. Though, after today's rally, that's about 3% above the current stock price. Fueling the more optimistic view is the oilfield service company's upcoming third-quarter earnings report, which it should unveil on Wednesday morning.

A man holding a barrel of oil with caution written on it in one hand and cash in the other hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

On the one hand, the analyst believes that the company will report a challenging quarter while also stating that the fourth quarter will be "very weak." Those tough operating conditions, however, will likely lead RPC to announce a restructuring plan to improve its earnings. That anticipated turnaround strategy is why the analyst is more optimistic about RPC's future.

That move would follow a similar one announced by oilfield service giant Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) when it reported its third-quarter results. In Halliburton's case, it will eliminate 650 jobs in a move that will help it save about $300 million per year. That should help boost its margins in the fourth quarter. 

Now what

The continued sluggishness of the oilfield service market isn't likely going away anytime soon. That's because oil supplies remain robust while demand growth seems to be slowing, which is preventing oil companies from increasing their capital spending. Those sluggish market conditions are why shares of RPC have plunged nearly 50% this year. With no rebound in sight, a major restructuring plan by RPC likely won't be enough to get its shares out of their recent doldrums.