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Nabors +11% after Q4 tops expectations, improved drilling rig market seen (NBR)

  • Nabors Industries (NBR +11%) surges to 52-week highs after reporting Q4 results that beat Wall Street expectations and offering an optimistic near-term outlook.
  • We believe we’ve seen the bottom” in the drilling rig market, CEO Tony Petrello said in today's earnings call, adding that rig rates increased modestly in Q4 but could rise higher this year.
  • Daily rates for highly specialized walking rigs have begun to increase as more U.S. oil companies use multiwell drilling platforms, Petrello says; a turnaround in the drilling business could lift land drillers out of their earnings slump.
  • NBR's fleet of ~150 pad-compatible walking rigs saw 94% utilization in the Q4, while demand for its older, mechanical rigs continues to lag behind.
  • Most other deepwater drillers also are higher: PKD +2%, HP +1.7%, PDS +1.2%.
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