Fri, Apr. 17, 11:46 AM
- Transocean's (RIG -2.3%) rigs are "dropping like flies," Credit Suisse says as it reiterates its Underperform rating and $12 stock price target after RIG's latest fleet status report revealed it had a contract terminated early and had decided to scrap yet another rig.
- RIG's scrapping of the GSF Explorer, which last worked in November 2014 at $412K/day, boosts the number of floaters the company intends to scrap to 19, up from 11 at the end of 2014; early termination of the Sedco Energy raises RIG’s idle floater count to six.
- RIG expects scrapping the GSF Explorer will result in a Q2 non-cash charge of $100M-$120M.
- Offshore drilling contractors are broadly lower, particularly Atwood Oceanics (ATW -4.1%) after Chevron shortened its contract term for one of its drilling units; also DO -2.2%, PACD -2.1%, NE -1.5%, ESV -0.6%, RDC -0.2%, SDRL +0.3%.
Thu, Apr. 16, 10:58 AM
- Ensco (ESV -4.8%) reveals in its April fleet status report that it agreed to lower dayrates on seven of its jackups working for Saudi Aramco in the Middle East, with reductions ranging 10%-20% and an average decline of 15% across the seven rigs.
- Cowen analysts believe further rate negotiations are ongoing and could affect other operators with units contracted to Saudi Aramco, noting that Rowan (RDC -4.2%) may be the most exposed since it has nine rigs currently working with Aramco; RDC secured three-year contract extensions in Sept. 2014 on four of the jackups, which could see reductions, as well as four units currently under negotiation extensions.
- Other contractors with units working for Aramco are Noble Corp. (NE -4.9%) with four units, Hercules Offshore (HERO -3.9%) with two (after the termination of the Hercules 261), and Seadrill (SDRL -3.9%) with three.
- Other offshore drilling contractors also are lower: RIG -3%, ATW -2.3%, DO -4.1%, HP -2.7%, ORIG -2.5%, PACD -4.2%.
Thu, Mar. 19, 2:26 PM
- It's a rough day for offshore drilling contractors following Transocean's (RIG -7.1%) announcement last night that it will scrap four rigs and stack four more it previously had idled, taking a $300M-$325M charge.
- Most notably, the Deepwater Expedition, which was working for $650K/day in 2014, will be scrapped; overall, the number of rigs the company plans to scrap is now 16, with possibly more to come.
- RIG was awarded a $300K/day contract for one rig for work off the coast of Nigeria, and idles another rig.
- In cutting its stock price target to $16 from $17, RBC expects just 10%-20% of available rig days will be contracted eventually given current market conditions vs. Wall Street expectations for ~35%.
- Also: ESV -4.3%, NE -5.3%, RDC -0.6%, DO -3.1%, SDRL -2.4%, ATW -5.7%, PACD -4.5%, HP -1.8%.
Fri, Feb. 27, 12:45 PM
- Hercules Offshore (HERO -28.2%) shares are crushed after this morning's downgrade to zero by Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Urban, who had maintained a Buy rating on the oil drilling services company for more than two years.
- Urban says he had remained positive on HERO relative to his negative view on the offshore driller sector because he did not foresee a lot of new competition to enter the shallow Gulf of Mexico area where the company had a commanding market position; that dominant position is no longer enough, he says, because "the collapse in oil prices has eviscerated demand.”
- Other stocks in the sector are rising today: RDC +3.6%, ATW +2.5%, RIG +2.4%, DO +2%, PKD +1.6%, HP +1.3%, ESV +1%.
Thu, Feb. 26, 2:32 PM
- Offshore drillers are warning that the number of deepwater rigs stacked or scrapped is set to hit a two-decade high, and predicting that the industry slump caused by lower crude oil prices could last another two years.
- Seadrill (SDRL -2.2%) said today that the severity of the downturn and extent of oversupply was such that ~25% of the rigs would come available for hire this year, and that industry decisions regarding the cold stacking and scrapping of older units likely would accelerate to levels not been seen in two decades (Q4 earnings).
- Transocean's (RIG -1%) Q4 results were not as bad as expected, but Senior VP Terry Bonno warned today that the company “continue(s) to expect challenging conditions... [with] extended periods of inter-contract idle time and significant competition for the limited tendering opportunities available."
- Dayrates for advanced, deepwater rigs have tumbled from a peak of ~$650K two years ago to $350K-$400K, with contractors slashing prices in the face of dwindling exploration.
- Also: ESV -7.3%, RDC -3.4%, DO -4.3%, ATW -5.1%, PACD -9.1%, HERO -13.6%.
Tue, Feb. 24, 2:22 PM
- Offshore drillers are sinking again after Diamond Offshore (DO -8.3%) disclosed that it probably would lose some contracts; also, Transocean Partners (RIGP -7.5%), the MLP created by Transocean (RIG -1.9%), was downgraded to Underweight with a $16 price target, cut from $26, at Barclays.
- RIGP, which is set to release Q4 results tomorrow after the close, is not at risk of cutting its dividend but faces uncertainty in light of lowered demand for offshore drilling rigs, Barclays says, but that RIGP likely would not be able to increase its distribution if the semi-submersible DDIII were to begin operating at recently observed market rates.
- DO is reiterated at a Sell rating with a $23 price target at Deutsche Bank.
- Also: SDRL -2.7%, SDLP -2.8%, ESV -6.5%, RDC -4.3%, NE -4.7%, ATW -5.8%, PACD -5.2%.
Mon, Feb. 23, 11:48 AM
- Transocean (RIG -2.3%) is slumping as Susquehanna downgrades the stock to Negative from Neutral with a $12 price target, cut from $15; RIG also is caught up in today's falling crude oil prices on concerns over the global supply glut.
- The firm is concerned over the competitive positioning of RIG’s assets to receive tenders, which will be compounded by the industry's weak macro environment; it says the "day of reckoning" for RIG’s old offshore drilling rigs has arrived, with the average age of the company’s floaters at 20.7 years vs. the industry average of 17.6 years.
- Given the challenges, the firm sees EBITDA declining 47% in 2016 and risking further downside in 2017 if the large number of contracts set to roll off are not renewed.
- Offshore drillers are broadly lower: ESV -3.2%, RDC -2.4%, SDRL -2.7%, NE -2.1%, ATW -1.3%, DO -0.5%.
Tue, Feb. 3, 12:57 PM
- Zephirin Group’s Lenny Zephirin upgrades Seadrill (SDRL +9.3%), Noble Corp. (NE +4.4%) and nearly every other offshore driller in the firm's coverage, citing a significant change in market sentiment as mounting doubt of a recovery of oil prices that had held down share prices of offshore drillers reverses.
- SDRL and Hercules Offshore (HERO +13.1%) are raised to Buy Speculative Risk from Sell, Ocean Rig (ORIG +10.4%) is lifted to Buy High Risk from Sell, NE and Diamond Offshore (DO +0.4%) is upgraded to Hold Speculative Risk from Sell, Ensco (ESV +2.4%) is lifted to Hold High Risk and Vantage Drilling (VTG +8.8%) to Hold Speculative Risk; the already had Buy rating for Transocean (RIG +5.9%) and Rowan (RDC +3.2%).
- Energy stocks are higher across the board as crude oil trades up 4.2% at $51.66/bbl and sits nearly $9/bbl above its January low.
Fri, Jan. 9, 11:56 AM
- Noble Corp. (NE -0.7%) is upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $19 target price at RBC, which considers NE the most attractive offshore driller due to its solid contract coverage and free cash flow generation in 2015, coupled with a ~10% dividend yield and the potential for upward EPS revisions.
- At the same time, the firm downgrades Rowan (RDC -3.8%) to Sector Perform from Outperform with a $27 target, noting rapidly deteriorating fundamentals in the jackup market and that Wall Street estimates need to come down meaningfully.
- More broadly, RBC still sees structural weaknesses in the offshore drilling market that will limit upside for the group when oil prices rebound.
Dec. 19, 2014, 11:44 AM
- Transocean (RIG +4.6%) discloses that it plans to scrap seven of its older, lower-quality deepwater and midwater vessels, and adds that it may not be finished getting rid of parts of its fleet, even as oil prices and demand for offshore rigs have fallen.
- RIG says it expects to take a related $100M-$140M charge in Q4.
- RIG's decision to put the rigs up for sale comes after a string of vessel retirements and a $2.76B writedown of the company’s asset value in November.
- Most offshore drilling service contractors are higher: ESV +5.1%, RDC +1.7%, DO +0.8%, ATW +3.1%, PACD +8.4%, but SDRL -4.3%.
Dec. 3, 2014, 2:53 PM
- Offshore drillers are rising modestly today after suffering a beating this year, but Jefferies cautions against seeing a buying opportunity in the beleaguered group.
- The firm says neither fundamentals nor valuation paint a compelling enough picture of the group; "more importantly, current softness masks the evolution of deepwater drilling to where specifications matter."
- Transocean (RIG +1.6%), which Jefferies says has the biggest contracting challenges both near-term and in the longer-run given a disproportionate mix of older UDW/UK floaters, is the least favorite name, while the firm sees relative value in Atwood Oceanics (ATW +0.7%) and Rowan (RDC +1.2%).
- Among other offshore drillers: DO +3.1%, PACD +3.1%, ESV +1%, NE -0.7%, SDRL -0.7%.
Nov. 28, 2014, 9:45 AM
- The sector was wrecked on Wednesday as Seadrill suspended its dividend amid "significant deterioration" in the oil market, and its North Atlantic Drilling suspended its payout because of the same combined with the delay in its Rosneft deal.
- The market "deteriorates" even further today with OPEC's decision yesterday not to cut production. WTI crude is "off the lows" as they say, but still down 5.8% at $69.43 per barrel.
- Seadrill (SDLP), North Atlantic Drilling (NADL -8.3%), ENSCO (ESV -8.8%), Atwood (ATW -7.7%), Rowan (RDC -7.2%), Pacific Drilling (PACD -4.5%).
Nov. 26, 2014, 10:42 AM
- Seadrill (SDRL -19.2%) shares are plunging after the drilling contractor suspended dividend payments due to "significant deterioration" in the broader markets, and North Atlantic Drilling (NADL -13.8%) suspends its dividend because of the delay of its agreement with Rosneft as well as the weaker market.
- The move is slamming the entire sector, and Wells Fargo says that although SDRL is the first driller to cut its dividend, Diamond Offshore (DO -8.3%) and Transocean (RIG -4.7%) will "ultimately have to follow suit."
- Also: SDLP -6.6%, ESV -4.8%, ATW -4.3%, RDC -3.3%, NE -3.2%, PACD -6.5%, ORIG -2.7%, HP -1.1%, RIGP -2.5%.
- ETF: OIH
Nov. 5, 2014, 3:31 PM
- Rowan (RDC +4.4%) leads offshore drillers higher after easily beating Q3 earnings estimates and forecasting revenues to rise in 2015 despite its own predictions for a soft rig market next year; it certainly doesn't hurt that oil prices are higher today.
- FBR Capital says it likes RDC as both a near-term idea on a sentiment snap-back and as a longer-term investment opportunity for patient investors; the firm believes the risk in RDC is mitigated by the company's fully locked-up ultra-deepwater newbuild fleet, whose contract starts account for the entirety of net earnings growth it foresees from 2014 to 2016, as well as concentrated exposure to high-spec jackups, which make up 93% of 2015 jackup earnings and should see fundamentals hold up better than the other classes.
- Also: RIG +5.2%, SDRL +4.5%, ESV +3.6%, DO +5.7%, NE +5.4%, ATW +2%.
Nov. 3, 2014, 2:58 PM
- Offshore drillers are broadly lower after Atwood Oceanics (ATW -5.2%) discloses in its latest fleet status report that it is delaying two deliveries in its fleet, and Diamond Offshore (DO -4.7%) is downgraded to Strong Sell from Sell at Nordea.
- The damage is minimal at Ensco (ESV -0.9%), however, as Johnson Rice analysts offer positive commentary on the "top-tier producer" after ESV's Q3 results displayed impressive operational execution while management made several positive moves during the quarter to improve the company’s financial flexibility.
- While management continues to expect further floater utilization and dayrate challenges through 2015, the jackup market was described as a potential near-term offset to floater headwinds as ESV cited record backlog within the jackup fleet and expected incremental Middle East jackup demand in H1 2015.
- Also: Caledonia deal not likely to held Transocean (RIG -2.8%) shareholders, analyst says.
- Also: RDC -2.8%, SDRL -3.1%, NE -1.1%, PACD -2.4%.
Oct. 23, 2014, 3:46 PM
- Diamond Offshore's (DO +5.5%) better than expected Q3 results is providing a lift across the offshore drilling sector today: RIG +3.8%, ESV +4.1%, RDC +2.6%, SDRL +1.9%, PKD +3.6%, HP +3.1%, ATW -0.5%.
- It was a trifecta of good news for DO: Its operating profit of $0.97/share easily topped Wall Street consensus for $0.79, it announced a special dividend of $0.75/share, and a positive fleet status update included two new rigs that had found work with Hess and Petrobras extending contracts on three rigs for three years.
- However, Cowen’s J.B. Lowe is cautious, noting that while that the $400K dayrates with Hess give DO a solid backlog though a soft time in the market, "they represent a new low in leading-edge newbuild ultra-deepwater floaters in this part of the cycle.”
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