Strong day for drillers despite mediocre fleet status updates

|By:, SA News Editor

Shares of offshore drillers Transocean (RIG +0.8%) and Diamond Offshore (DO +1.6%) are holding up well despite lukewarm updates for the status of their fleets.

RIG said one rig had signed a nearly three-month extension but another floater is now idle, which puts the total number of idle rigs in the fleet at four; RBC analysts think 2014 will continue to be characterized by dayrate pressure for all floaters and downtime between contracts, and RIG could stack some older rigs if demand does not materialize.

DO signed a contract for one of its rigs, but Cowen cut its price target to $47 from $50 and earnings estimates to $4.50 from $4.60 as it increases the expected idle time on one rig to three months from one month and expecting another to be stacked next year.

Also: NE +1.3%, ESV +1.4%, ATW +1.1%.