Noble profit surges 70% as drilling fleet grows

|About: Noble Corporation plc (NE)|By:, SA News Editor

Noble Corp. (NE+1.4% AH after Q1 earnings surged 70%, beating expectations, as the offshore driller saw new rigs help lift revenues.

Noble, with a fleet of ~77 drilling units, says revenues from drilling services, which makes up most of the company's top line, rose nearly 30% Y/Y to $1.2B as several new rigs went into operation and operating days improved.

Average daily revenues gained 5% to $223.6K vs. the previous quarter average of $212K, reflecting the addition of premium assets, while fleet utilization rose to 84% in Q1 compared to 82% in Q4 2013.

Contract backlog as of March 31 was ~$14.3B, vs. $15.4B as of Dec. 31.