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%.
Wed, Feb. 4, 5:33 PM
- Offshore drillers fell sharply today along with crude oil prices even after Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) released FQ1 earnings that beat Wall Street consensus; ATW fell 0.7% in regular trading while peers all lost at least 3%.
- Credit Suisse says ATW enjoyed a solid quarter, "but the outlook is all that matters," with contracting the ATW Admiral newbuild, which is scheduled for delivery in September, the key focus; the firm thinks getting the rig on contract, regardless of rate, would push the stock higher.
- Cowen analysts think ATW, Noble Corp.(NYSE:NE) and Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) are best positioned to survive an extended period of weakness; NE has 72% of its available floating rig days contracted in 2015, and 48% contracted in 2016. - a solid backlog, particularly considering it has not yet chosen to stack or retire a significant number of rigs, as its peers Transocean (NYSE:RIG), Ensco (NYSE:ESV) and Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) have done.
- Offshore drillers are seen as some of the first casualties of oil price declines, as they have less flexibility in costs than oil explorers and depend on market-sensitive dayrates to generate revenue with their rigs.
Tue, Feb. 3, 6:30 PM
Tue, Feb. 3, 2:59 PM
- Diamond Offshore (DO +2.8%) is downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, which cites the potential for a dividend cut and an earnings miss.
- The firm believes the dividend suspension by Seadrill paves the way for peers to evaluate their current payout strategy, and now expects DO to cut its elevated yield on Feb. 9; it also cuts its estimated 2015-16 EPS from $3.05 and $1.63 to $2.68 and $0.92 - well below the Wall Street consensus of $2.92 and $1.62 - although earnings risk probably is well appreciated at this point.
- Stanley says “a new reality has set in” for offshore drillers generally, and foresees "a larger supply response to right-size marketed fleet utilization, and expect accelerating fleet attrition and newbuild delivery delays to materialize on the back of lower dayrates."
- Related tickers: SDRL, SDLP, RIG, RIGP, ATW, PACD.
Mon, Feb. 2, 5:35 PM
Mon, Jan. 12, 12:48 PM
- Goldman Sachs lowers target prices for several offshore drillers as it cuts its crude oil price outlook, although it still rates Atwood Oceanics (ATW -3.3%) a Buy.
- The firm expects offshore driller stocks to struggle with a supply/demand imbalance driven by the 62 newbuild floaters and 113 jackups coming to the market through 2016 (24% and 28%, respectively, of the working rig count), on top of weak demand, and sees demand curtailed as projects are delayed, resulting in declining utilization for offshore rigs and lower earnings for the majority of offshore drillers as rigs rolling off contracts could struggle to find contracts.
- ATW is Goldman's lone Buy-rated name due to high contract coverage, a young rig fleet and favorable valuation; Sell-rated Transocean (RIG -4.6%) and Diamond Offshore (DO -4.9%) have high rig availability, exposure to aging assets, potential for asset writedowns, and risks to their current dividend payments.
Dec. 23, 2014, 6:55 PM
- Goldman Sachs' David Kostin thinks it’s time for patient investors with at least a 12-month time horizon to begin loading up on energy companies.
- The Goldman team recommends refiners such as Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), as well as midstream companies that are less sensitive to oil prices and offer the potential for dividend growth, including EQT Midstream Partners (NYSE:EQM), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) and Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG).
- With capital spending sure to take a hit and oil prices likely to remain volatile, oil service companies probably aren’t the way to go, but Goldman considers the more defensive names such as Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and Oceaneering (NYSE:OII) as the best of a bad lot.
Dec. 23, 2014, 6:19 PM
- Although the energy sector led today's stock advance, a raft of companies downgraded by Global Hunter mostly took it on the chin - none more so than Key Energy (NYSE:KEG), which plunged 15% after shares were cut to Reduce from Neutral with a $1.50 price target that was reduced from $2.50.
- Also downgraded to Reduce were HERO -6.1%, NBR -3.2%, DO +1.3%.
- Lowered to Neutral were HAL +0.5%, GEOS -8.9%, HP -2.9%, BAS -2.5%, PKD -2.5%, BHI +0.6%, BBEP -0.2%, MEP +0.1%.
- Downgraded to Accumulate: PES -3.5%, PTEN -1.1%, NGLS +2.9%.
- The firm upgraded five stocks - ATW, NOV, OII, RES and SPN - all of which gained in today's trading.
Dec. 19, 2014, 5:25 PM
- Transocean (NYSE:RIG) shares finished sharply higher today (+7.9%), but it’s hard to ignore the largely negative December fleet status report that came out late yesterday.
- In lowering his stock price target to $17 from $20, Cowen analyst J.B. Lowe said RIG secured one attractive contract this month, not enough to fill much needed ultra-deepwater floater availability; while RIG was able to put two idle floaters back to work, it had four additional rigs go idle, including one where the customer canceled the contract.
- Lowe believes falling oil prices will put increased strain on dayrates and utilization during 2015.
- Most offshore drilling service contractors racked up strong gains today as crude oil prices rebounded: NE +9.5%, ESV +9.5%, RDC +5.9%, DO +0.5%, ATW +7.1%, PACD +14%.
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%.
Dec. 1, 2014, 3:19 PM
- A bit late, Guggenheim analyst Darren Gacicia downgrades Seadrill (SDRL -5.5%), Transocean (RIG -4.5%) and Diamond Offshore (DO +3.3%) to Neutral from Buy, finally admitting that downward pressure on oil prices and a potential for capital markets to become shy to fund newbuild deliveries has undercut the tenets of his previous bull thesis.
- SDRL and RIG remain the most levered to deteriorating offshore market conditions, he says, believing SDRL shares may also suffer from an ownership transition from income to value investors and RIG perhaps sharing the same fate, with a 2015 dividend cut likely amid the potential for further asset writedowns.
- At DO, Gacicia sees risk of a dividend cut, rig retirements and deteriorating offshore market fundamentals as negative near-term catalysts; the firm also downgrades Seventy Seven Energy (SSE -16.2%), Cameron (CAM -2.8%), Frank's International (FI -0.1%) and FMC Tech (FTI -0.1%).
- In the space, the analyst prefers drillers with high-quality assets, solid contract coverage and a lack of funding needs, such as Noble Corp. (NE -0.2%) - which also has a buyback catalyst - Atwood Oceanics (ATW -0.1%) and Pacific Drilling (PACD -3.7%).
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%).
ATW vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR