Today, 11:47 AM
- Termination notices and rig stacking/disposal indications from Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG -16%) "foreshadow the difficulties facing the offshore drilling subsector as we move into 2016," say Raymond James analysts Praveen Narra and J. Marshall Adkins.
- "Though cost control and newbuild delays drove Ocean Rig to post an impressive Q2, we remain concerned about the underlying fundamentals of the business and financial leverage in an anemic market," they say, maintaining their Market Perform rating.
- Related names: Seadrill (SDRL -4.3%), Transocean (RIG -4.5%), Ensco (ESV -1.7%), Noble Group (NE -2.7%), Rowan (RDC -1.4%), Diamond Offshore (DO -0.3%), Atwood (ATW -2.2%)
- Previously: Ocean Rig -13% following fleet update (Oct. 7)
Mon, Sep. 28, 6:19 PM
- Transocean (NYSE:RIG) is upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank, which believes the company - with a new management team in place - is in position to take radical restructuring measures that could include re-capitalizing the balance sheet and scrapping up to 40 rigs.
- While Deustche Bank was feeling a little better about RIG, Susquehanna sticks with its Negative outlook and $11 price target even while raising its estimates for the beaten-down driller; despite RIG’s attempt to lower costs and operate under a smaller scale, the firm sees the challenging market dictating RIG's outlook for at least the next two years amid an environment of muted demand and rig oversupply.
- It was a rough day for offshore drillers: RIG -4.7%, ESV -6.3%, RDC -2.4%, DO -5.2%, ATW -5.7%, NE -4.3%, SDRL -8.9%, ORIG -6%, PACD -11.5%.
Thu, Sep. 3, 3:44 PM
- Credit Suisse downgrades Seadrill (SDRL -1.4%) to Underperform from Neutral with a $5 price target, cut from a previous $7, and Pacific Drilling (PACD +0.5%) to Neutral from Outperform with a $3 target, down from $4 earlier, while maintaining an Underperform rating on the overall offshore drilling sector.
- The sector "will get worse before getting better," but it will get better by 2018-19, although "the biggest question around most companies' value is what will their fleet look like for the next cycle," analyst Gregory Lewis writes.
- The firm maintains Neutral ratings on Ensco (ESV -0.1%) and Diamond Offshore (DO +2.8%), with best in class balance sheets but fleets that are likely to look a lot different next cycle; Atwood Oceanics (ATW -0.4%) also is rated Neutral.
- The firm maintains an Underperform rating on Transocean (RIG -0.8%), owing to its balance sheet and fleet mix, while keeping Outperform ratings on Rowan (RDC +0.8%) and Noble Corp. (NE +0.8%)
Tue, Sep. 1, 6:57 PM
- Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) is upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform along with the overall offshore drilling segment at Wells Fargo to reflect valuations below net asset value and the potential for an underappreciated demand profile in a recovery scenario in 2017-18.
- But it is hardly a ringing endorsement, as the firm also cut its offshore drilling earnings estimates by 10%-40% for 2016 and 20%-60% for 2017 to primarily reflect likely 5%-15% reductions in floater dayrates and 10%-20% reductions in jack-up dayrates as well as updated idling/stacking assumptions across each fleet.
- For DO, the firm believes the downside risk for the company’s fleet is largely priced in, and that DO’s free cash flow and strong balance sheet relative to the industry suggests more of a neutral outlook than meaningful downside risk.
- Wells' move hardly helped today's stock results in the sector, which were sharply lower: DO -4.2%, RIG -3.5%, SDRL -6.3%, ESV -5.5%, NE -2.4%, ATW -4.5%, RDC -2.1%, ORIG -6.3%.
- At the same time, Wells downgraded land drillers Pioneer Energy (NYSE:PES), RPC Inc. (NYSE:RES) and Patterson-UTI (NASDAQ:PTEN) to Market Perform from Outperform.
Wed, Aug. 26, 10:46 AM
- Transocean (RIG -3.3%) opens down but off premarket lows following news of its plans to suspend dividend payouts and book 2B Swiss francs ($2.1B) in asset impairments; other offshore drilling contractors trade mixed.
- Raymond James says RIG's move is prudent given the difficulties facing the offshore drilling market: "All in on an annual basis, the cancellation of the dividend would result in $220M in retained liquidity... We view this as prudent as [RIG] can use the cash to improve its own liquidity or work to eventually high grade its fleet."
- Cowen notes the decision comes as somewhat of a surprise, since the dividend had been approved by shareholders last May, and adds the move could be seen as an indication that the market has grown incrementally worse in just the three weeks since RIG Aug. 6 earnings call.
- Offshore peers: DO +1.2%, SDRL +2.2%, ESV +0.3%, RIGP +0.3%, RDC -0.1%, ATW -0.2%, NE -2.2%, VTG -4.3%, ORIG -1.5%, PACD flat.
Tue, Aug. 25, 11:10 AM
- Moody's places 11 offshore drilling companies under review for a downgrade, citing concerns regarding "an extremely challenging operating environment through at least 2017."
- The ratings agency expects oil prices to remain volatile and rise minimally through 2017, meaning the energy producers that hire offshore drillers will remain under pressure to keep a lid on spending.
- "Sustained weak crude oil prices and a steady supply of newbuild rigs will cause significant credit erosion as contracted backlogs, revenues and cash flows continue to fade," Moody's writes, and "fewer offshore drilling opportunities will be available, resulting in a potentially prolonged period of lower dayrates and fleet utilization."
- The companies under review are DO, ESV, NE, RDC, RIG, ATW, SDLP, ORIG, PGN, PACD and Shelf Drilling Midco.
Thu, Aug. 13, 10:30 AM
- Offshore drilling stocks could see further downside despite already falling ~30% in two months, Barclays analysts say, expecting offshore spending to decline by double digits again in 2016 as operators wait for signs of oil price stability and lower development costs before committing resources.
- The firm says floater retirements have stalled, with 38 retirements since last October but only three since June, making little headway for the 60-70 additional floater retirements the industry needs to rebalance the market.
- The firm downgrades Atwood Oceanics (ATW -7.3%) to Underweight from Equal Weight with an $18 price target from a previous $27, and maintains Underweight ratings on Diamond Offshore (DO -3.7%), Noble Corp. (NE -6.7%) and Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG -6.2%); Ensco (ESV -5.2%), Pacific Drilling (PACD -5.2%) and Rowan (RDC -6.3%) are maintained with Equal Weight ratings.
Thu, Jul. 30, 6:28 PM
- Negative sentiment continued to overwhelm offshore drillers in today's trade, as Ensco (NYSE:ESV), Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) and Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) all failed to hold early morning gains despite posting reasonably solid Q2 earnings results.
- J.P. Morgan said it had expected a positive session for ESV after results beat forecasts across the board, as the company executed well and costs dropped 8% Q/Q despite several rig reactivations and newbuild commencements.
- Cowen analysts said NE also beat Q2 expectations, and believes the company can "certainly cover the dividend for now," given significant cash flow generation in 2015 and solid contract coverage through 2016.
- ATW also edged past earnings estimates for the fifth straight quarter, as drilling revenue fell 6% Q/Q and rose 20% Y/Y, though drilling expenses of $134M were at the high-end of guidance.
- The sector finished broadly lower: ESV -7.6%, NE -3.7%, ATW -3%, RIG -3.5%, SDRL -2.8%, DO -3.2%, RDC -2.7%, PACD -3.8%.
Wed, Jul. 29, 5:36 PM
Tue, Jul. 28, 5:35 PM
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Fri, Jul. 17, 11:32 AM
- Offshore drillers are significantly underperforming the broader market following cautious commentary from Schlumberger (SLB -0.1%) despite its Q2 earnings beat, a contract termination and an analyst downgrade.
- On its earnings call this morning, SLB said it expects little improvement in pricing levels in the near future and declines in activity for offshore drillers, while land rigs provide a more attractive opportunity and better margins.
- For its Q3, SLB foresees a further 5%-6% decline in Q/Q revenue as well as lower EPS, and says the $0.77 consensus is a realistic number.
- Yesterday, ConocoPhillips (COP -1.8%) said it plans to cut future deepwater exploration spending, particularly in its operated Gulf of Mexico program; in light of the decision, COP is terminating a contract for an Ensco (ESV -4.9%) deepwater drill ship.
- Also, UBS today downgraded National Oilwell Varco (NOV -1.5%) to Sell from Neutral.
- SDRL -6.4%, RIG -4.7%, RDC -6%, DO -3.3%, ATW -4.2%, HP -1.2%, PTEN -1.2%, PACD -5.7%.
Tue, Jul. 7, 6:57 PM
- Yesterday's news from Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) of a six-month contract extension on the Atwood Beacon is a positive for the company, but Cowen analysts caution that investors should not consider it a beacon of light for the industry.
- While Cowen welcomes the addition of backlog in calendar 2016 at a slightly higher dayrate than expected, the firm believes the nature of the negotiations - an exchange of lower dayrates for additional backlog - "highlights the continuing downward pressure on operating margins that should be expected across the entire offshore drilling sector going forward."
- The sector enjoyed a strong afternoon bounce in today's trade: ATW +3%, RIG +5.5%, DO +1.4%, RDC +2.1%, ESV +2.7%, SDRL +3%, NE +3.2%.
Mon, Jul. 6, 3:48 PM
- A recovery in offshore drillers such as Transocean (RIG -4.5%), Diamond Offshore (DO -2.2%), Atwood Oceanics (ATW -3.7%), Rowan (RDC -2.3%) and Noble Corp. (NE -1.9%) may be further off than expected, Susquehanna analysts say.
- After believing that an acceleration in the rate at which rigs are being cold stacked or retired could suggest the start of an industry recovery in H2 2016, the firm says the fact that newer, high-specification rigs are now rolling off contract without being renewed points to a more protracted downturn than previously anticipated.
- The firm says RIG and DO possess the oldest ultra-deepwater fleets, with average respective ages of 9 and 17 years old; given the competitive disadvantages of relatively old fleets, free cash flow yields for the companies will be negative (-28% for RIG, -9% for DO) in 2016.
- Susquehanna says the drillers were able to beat its estimates for drilling costs in Q1 by 6% on average, but part of the cost savings were the result of cost deferments, particularly expenses related to repairs and maintenance.
Thu, Jun. 18, 12:28 PM
- Shares of offshore drillers such as Ensco (ESV -5.2%), Transocean (RIG -2.4%) and Seadrill (SDRL -3.4%) are tumbling today, as fleet status updates continue to show tough times ahead for the group.
- In the latest update, ESV said it had agreed to reduce the rate it charged Total (NYSE:TOT) for one ultra-deepwater drillship and reduce the length of the contract on a second ship by six months; two floaters and two jackups also finished contracts and are now idle.
- RBC analysts say they do not expect a bottom in the overall offshore rig count until mid-2016 at the earliest and expect rates and utilization to remain challenged in the interim.
- Also: NE -3%, RDC -1.7%, DO -2.1%, ATW -2%, ORIG -6%, PACD -15.1%.
Thu, Jun. 11, 2:26 PM
- Barclays rolls out coverage of offshore drillers (NYSEARCA:OIH) with a negative outlook, saying "the worst has yet to pass" as customers deal with the low oil price environment and a heavily oversupplied offshore rig market.
- While the stocks likely would rally with higher oil prices (and short covering), fewer rigs then would be retired on the hope of demand improving, preventing the necessary catharsis the industry needs, the firm says, adding that based on its rig-based distributable cash flow valuation methodology, the group's risk/reward profile is not attractive.
- The firm starts shares of Ensco (ESV -3.1%), Rowan Companies (RDC -3.1%), Atwood Oceanics (ATW -5.7%) and Pacific Drilling (PACD -2.7%) with Equal Weight ratings, and Transocean (RIG -5%), Diamond Offshore (DO -4.4%), Noble Corp. (NE -3.9%) and Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG -6.4%) with Underweight ratings, the firm's sell rating equivalent.
Tue, Jun. 2, 6:15 PM
- Half a loaf is better than no loaf at all, as investors pushed shares of offshore drilling contractors to strong gains in today's trade after Hercules Offshore (NASDAQ:HERO) said Saudi Aramco would keep three rigs working but at roughly half the previous dayrates.
- Cowen analysts offer a rather negative take, saying rate reductions were expected, but given the quality of its rigs and its difficult negotiating position, HERO received the harshest rate reductions among its peers; also while competitor contracts will revert to their original dayrates in early 2016, HERO’s rigs will be on the lowered rate through the end of 2016.
- Meanwhile, Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) received a month-long extension on one of its rigs, which prompts Susquehanna to boost its 2015 EPS outlook to $7.40 from $7.37 but maintain its Neutral rating and $32 stock price target.
- In today's regular session: HERO +6.1%, ATW +2.5%, RIG +3.7%, SDRL +4.2%, NE +4.7%, RDC +5.1%, DO +4.2%, ESV +4.5%, HP +2.5%, PKD +3.3%.
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