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  • Vantage Drilling is a mid-tier offshore drilling company which owns a young fleet of four jackups and four drillships, including one under-construction.
  • The company delivered a solid second-quarter results on August 5, 2014 and indicated that the third-quarter will be affected by the Tungsten Explorer mobilization.
  • Vantage drilling presents many positive going forward because of the nature and quality of its young fleet.

Source: Vantage website: The Platinum explorer.

Vantage Drilling Co. (NYSEMKT:VTG) is a mid-tier offshore drilling company which operates in the USA and internationally. The company owns a fleet of 8 drilling units, including four jack-ups and four ultra-deepwater drillships (one still under-construction.) Seven rigs were in service during the second-quarter 2014.

Vantage Drilling was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company has 781 full-time employees.

Paul A. Bragg, CEO said in the last conference call:

Now Q2 was another excellent operational quarter for Vantage. Our jackups once again worked at high revenue efficiency, exceeding 99% during the quarter. Our deepwater efficiency was about 83% in Q2. That's a little misleading on the negative side, I would say, so I'll explain. Platinum Explorer efficiency was 100%; Titanium Explorer was about 92%; and Tungsten Explorer was 57%. Now Tungsten actually achieved about 100% efficiency while drilling. However, we had out of service time related to transit time to West Africa.

Complete fleet analysis as of August 5, 2014

Fleet status July 2014.

#NameYear DeliveredTypeContract EndDay Rate $K
1Emerald Driller2008Jack-up BMC375Q3 2015156
2Sapphire Driller2009Jack-up BMC375May 2015183
3Aquamarine Driller2009Jack-up BMC375Nov 2014155
4Topaz Driller2009Jack-up BMC375




155 Option

5Oro Negro Primus2012KFCLS ModV-B classManaged by VTGPemex/Mexico
6Oro Negro Laurus2013KFCLS ModV-B classManaged by VTGPemex/Mexico
1Platinum Explorer2010DSME-UDW

60 D 6/14




2Titanium Explorer2012DSME-UDWQ1 2020585
3Tungsten Explorer2013DSME-UDW6/16641
4Cobalt ExplorerQ3-Q4 2015DSME-UDW Dual Derrick 7th generationAvailable-

1 - VTG contracts coverage.


2 - VTG Backlog. ($2.48 billion)

Jackups $ Million111.380.4-191.7
Drillships $ Million350.0643.11,296.02,289.1
Total $ Million461.3720.51,296.02,480.8

Second-quarter resultssnapshot.

Important links:

Link: 10Q SEC filing August 6, 2014.

Link: Presentation March 4, 2014.

Link: Conference call second-quarter 2014.

  Q3 Est.Q2 2014Q1 2014
Total revenue in $ Million (1)Basics(2)219.72232.47
Net Income in $ Million0/10.010.1824.82
Income from operations $ millionX81.791.0
Income from the jackups $ millionJackupsN/A61.861.6
Jackup operating cost in $ million22.423.8
Jackup Rig utilization in %99.2100
Average jackup day rate $162,100161,400
Income from the Drillships $ millionDrillshipsN/A145.3159.2
Drillships operating cost in $ million51.255.8
Drillships Rig utilization in %83.196.5
Average Drillships day rate $615,701600,827
Earnings per share in $ 0/
Shares Outstanding basic in Million X306.2 
Cash and Cash equivalent in $ Million X89.98
Long-term Debt $ Billion X2.782
Enterprise Value $ Billion X3.31
Quarter EBITDA $ Million 90/105113

(1) The decrease in revenue from Q1 to Q2 was the sequential decrease due to the timing of the mobilization of the Tungsten Explorer to West Africa, which VTG commenced on May 22. Additionally, VTG had about seven days of downtime on the Titanium Explorer to make repairs to the slip joint and other minor repairs.

(2) Douglas G. Smith, CFO said at the conference call:

The guidance for the third quarter, unfortunately, will be negatively impacted by the Titanium Explorer having downtime associated with an LMRP connector. This has currently anticipated a result of approximately 22 days off contract in the third quarter.

Additionally, the forecast is impacted by the timing and duration of rig mobilizations for the Tungsten Explorer and the Titanium Explorer.

For the third quarter, we are currently projecting EBITDA of $90 million to $105 million.

Taking all this into account results in a profit range of approximately breakeven to $10 million, or $0.00 to $0.03 per share.

Lawsuit Vantage Drilling Company vs. Hsin-Chi Su a/k/a Nobu Su:

On August 21, 2012, VTG filed a lawsuit against M, Hsu-Chin Su, owner of F3 Capital, which is the largest VTG shareholder. The lawsuit is currently pending the 270th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. It is unclear what effect will have this lawsuit in the future of the company. Furthermore, F3 Capital still owes $3 million in fee to VTG that has not been paid. Investors will have to follow this situation carefully.


Vantage Drilling is a newly created international offshore drilling company with an impressive state-of-the-art fleet comprised of six jackups of the last generation and four drillships including one under-construction.

YTD chart:

VTG Chart

VTG data by YCharts

VTG is to be compared to Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) and Ocean Rig UDW (NASDAQ:ORIG). The company owns a more versatile rig fleet which is comprised of 60% of jackups rigs and 40% of Ultra-deepwater rigs. I have recently covered both PACD and ORIG and I will be able to show a comparative table regarding their respective rig fleet, here.

Comparative table between PACD, ORIG and VTG.

All three companies have a similar modern fleet.


Jackup RigsWorking UDW Rigs



Backlog in $ billion

Long-term debt in $ billion

Q2 Revenue in $ millionEBITDA in $ million

Day rate average in $ K


* 2 jackups are also managed by VTG.

YTD Chart:

PACD Chart

PACD data by YCharts

VTG will have some headwinds the next quarter due to the mobilization time of its Titanium explorer; however, the loss in EBITDA will not be drastic and the company is projecting a future Q3 EBITDA around $100 million and earning around 0.01 per share.

VTG is not currently serving any dividend, which is a negative about a long shareholders' perspective. It is one of the rarest offshore drillers that has not elected any dividend. ORIG has a dividend of 4.6% and PACD will initiate a 7+% starting Q1 2015.

Despite these negatives, I have upgraded VTG from HOLD to speculative BUY, and I believe the company may reach $2.75/3 during the second-half of 2015, assuming a positive ending of the Nobu Su lawsuit.

Disclosure: The author is long ORIG. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source: Vantage Drilling: Complete Fleet Analysis As Of August 2014 And Recent Q2 Results.