Offshore drillers in for rough seas, Morgan Stanley says as it cuts Rowan

|About: Rowan Companies plc (RDC)|By:, SA News Editor

Things could get worse before they get better for offshore drillers, and even market favorite Rowan (RDC -3.6%) could get hit, Morgan Stanley says as it cuts its rating on the stock to Underweight.

RDC has fallen less than companies with exposure to the floater market thanks to its greater exposure to jackups, but Stanley sees a surge in jackup orders, driven largely by speculative drillers at Chinese shipyards; the jackup orderbook now stands at a record 140 units, of which only ~20 have been contracted.

In the sector, the firm recommends yield plays such as Seadrill (SDRL), Seadrill Partners (SDLP) and North Atlantic Drilling (NADL), and prefers premium asset exposure through Atwood Oceanics (ATW), Ensco (ESV) and Pacific Drilling (PACD) over lower-end fleets via Diamond Offshore (DO), Noble (NE) and Transocean (RIG).