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With oil sliding over 20% in the past three months, it's no surprise to see offshore drilling companies slide with it. Oil is a depleting resource; and as the world's population continues to boom, so will the demand for oil. Eventually more and more oil companies will need to look offshore in order to keep up with demand; this is when offshore drilling companies come in to play. These companies offer various rigs including: shallow-water, mid-water, deepwater, ultra-deepwater, jack-up rigs, tender rigs, semi-submersible rigs, etc. And while it all may sound like a foreign language to many, all you need to know is that this is a very special niche in the industry. Over the past three months, some companies have held up better than others; but which of the following companies will be on top when the dust settles? Here are key numbers and business details for five of some of the most prominent names in the business:

Ensco plc (ESV)

Market Cap: $10.18 billion

Current Share Price: $44.00

52-Week Range: $37.39-$59.90

P/E: 6.43

PEG: 0.58

Price/Book Value: 0.93

Operating Margin: 30.40%

Profit Margin: 22.84%

Return On Equity: 9.46%

Total Cash: $208.90 million

Total Debt: $5.11 billion

Current Ratio: 1.05

Dividend (%): $1.50 (3.40%)

Three Month % Change: -19.7%

(Find more stats here.)

Yahoo!Finance Business Summary:

"Ensco plc provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. It owns and operates an offshore drilling rig fleet of approximately 77 rigs, including 7 drill ships, 13 dynamically positioned semisubmersible rigs, 7 moored semisubmersible rigs, 49 jack up rigs, and 1 barge rig used to drill and complete oil and natural gas wells. The company’s drilling rigs are located in Brazil, Europe and Mediterranean region, the Middle East and Africa region, and the Asia Pacific rim region. It serves government owned, and independent oil and gas companies, as well as various independent operators. Ensco plc was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom."

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (DO)

Market Cap: $8.35 billion

Current Share Price: $60.08

52-Week Range: $51.16-$73.15

P/E: 9.31

PEG: 1.39

Price/Book Value: 1.90

Operating Margin: 36.46%

Profit Margin: 27.86%

Return On Equity: 21.37%

Total Cash: $1.40 billion

Total Debt: $1.50 billion

Current Ratio: 5.20

Dividend (%): $0.50 (0.8%)

Three Month % Change: -13.1%

(Find more stats here.)

Yahoo!Finance Business Summary:

"Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. operates as an offshore oil and gas drilling contractor worldwide. It offers a range of services in the ultra-deepwater, deepwater, and mid-water markets, as well as in the non-floater or jack-up market. The company operates a fleet of approximately 49 offshore rigs comprising 32 semisubmersible rigs, 13 jack-up rigs, and 4 drill ships. Its customer base consists primarily of major and independent oil and gas companies, and government-owned oil companies. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. is a subsidiary of Loews Corporation."

SeaDrill Limited (SDRL)

Market Cap: $15.74 billion

Current Share Price: $33.49

52-Week Range: 24.68-$42.34

P/E: 16.80

PEG: 0.19

Price/Book Value: 2.59

Operating Margin: 44.07%

Profit Margin: 23.22%

Return On Equity: 15.75%

Total Cash: $465.00 million

Total Debt: $10.67 billion

Current Ratio: 0.69

Dividend (%): $3.28 (9.8%)

Three Month % Change: -11.3%

(Find more stats here.)

Yahoo!Finance Business Summary:

"Seadrill Limited, an offshore drilling contractor, provides offshore drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. It also offers platform drilling, well intervention, and engineering services. As of December 31, 2011, the company owned and operated 40 offshore drilling units, which consisted of drillships, jack-up rigs, semisubmersible rigs, and tender rigs for operations in shallow and deepwater areas, as well as in benign and harsh environments. Seadrill Limited was founded in 1972 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda."

Noble Corp. (NE)

Market Cap: $7.89 billion

Current Share Price: $31.21

52-Week Range: $27.33-$41.71

P/E: 18.21

PEG: 1.04

Price/Book Value: 1.07

Operating Margin: 19.41%

Profit Margin: 15.47%

Return On Equity: 5.32%

Total Cash: $208.84 million

Total Debt: $4.44 billion

Current Ratio: 1.84

Dividend (%): $0.56 (1.7%)

Three Month % Change: -17.5%

(Find more stats here.)

Yahoo!Finance Business Summary:

"Noble Corporation operates as an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. The company offers contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. Its drilling fleet consists of 14 semisubmersibles, 14 drillships, 49 jackups, and 2 submersibles, as well as 11 units under construction, including 5 ultra-deepwater, harsh environment drillships and 6 heavy-duty, harsh environment jackup rigs. The company also provides services for drilling and workover activities; and undertakes refurbishment projects for rigs, as well as offers personnel necessary to manage and perform the drilling operations from a drilling platform owned by the operator. It conducts its contract drilling operations principally in the United States, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, west Africa, the Middle East, India, and the Asian Pacific. The company was founded in 1921 and is based in Baar, Switzerland."

Transocean Limited (RIG)

Market Cap: $14.67 billion

Current Share Price: $41.73

52-Week Range: $38.21-$65.41

P/E: N/A

PEG: 1.61

Price/Book Value: 0.94

Operating Margin: 17.24%

Profit Margin: -64.24%

Return On Equity: -31.47%

Total Cash: $4.00 billion

Total Debt: $13.49 billion

Current Ratio: 1.33

Dividend (%): N/A

Three Month % Change: -19.4%

(Find more stats here.)

Yahoo!Finance Business Summary

"Transocean Ltd. provides offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells worldwide. It offers deepwater and harsh environment drilling, oil and gas drilling management, and drilling engineering and drilling project management services. The company also offers well and logistics services. In addition, it engages in oil and gas exploration, development, and production activities primarily in the United States offshore Louisiana and Texas, and in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea. As of February 10, 2011, the company owned, had partial ownership interests in, and operated 138 mobile offshore drilling units, including 47 high-specification floaters, 25 midwater floaters, 9 high-specification jackups, 54 standard jackups, and 3 other rigs, as well as 1 ultra-deepwater floater and 3 high-specification jackups under construction. Transocean Ltd. was founded in 1953 and is based in Zug, Switzerland."

(By many metrics Transocean seems like a company in distress, mostly due to the multitudes of financial liabilities incurred for oil spills. But despite these problems, Transocean still has the largest fleet of any offshore drilling company and is expected to have a strong rebound.)

While many of these companies have very strong numbers and may seem undervalued, only one really sticks out; and that company is SeaDrill. If the massive forward dividend yield of almost 10% isn't enough to catch your attention, then surely the miniscule PEG ratio of 0.19 should interest you. Many may point out that SeaDrill has an ugly balance sheet, which there's no denying; but the $465 million in cash and $10.67 billion in debt are in the better interests of their investors. SeaDrill is rapidly expanding its fleet as dayrates for rigs hit all time highs in excess of $600,000 per day. SeaDrill has grown its fleet from a meager 11 rigs in 2005 and is still placing orders for new rigs to be built. The company is ready to take advantage of the increasing demand for offshore drilling rigs and is putting itself far ahead of the competition. As these stocks track the volatile price of oil, it's important that dividends stabilize some of the volatility. While each company (excluding Transocean) on this list pays a dividend, SeaDrill's dividend trumps the second-highest dividend (Ensco) by almost three times.

So as oil supply begins to decrease and demand to increase in the long term, more oil companies will be flocking to these offshore drillers. Years down the road, these companies will be at the top of the E&P industry (but only one, I believe SDRL, at the very top); but it's not very sensible to buy six competing companies, so use this list as a starting point on your quest to find the very best in the business.

Source: These 5 Deepwater Drillers Have Been Drilled By The Market