Yesterday, 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%.
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. 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%).
Nov. 26, 2014, 5:37 PM
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. 10, 2014, 6:04 PM
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. 4, 2014, 1:45 PM
- November is just two days old, but offshore drillers Transocean (RIG -4.7%), Seadrill (SDRL -7.2%), Diamond Offshore (DO -3.6%), Atwood Oceanics (ATW -2.6%) and Noble Corp. (NE -5.2%) are down more than 8% so far this month.
- The Zephirin Group thinks plunging oil prices are already beginning to impact demand for offshore drilling platforms, and the current dayrate range for ultra-deepwater drillships of mid $400-500/day is not helping the outlook.
- The latest piece of evidence of the weakness is ATW's six-month postponement of the delivery of two drillships under construction, which Zephirin expects will cost the company an additional $40M-$45M per rig.
- The firm also foresees a high possibility that the 2015-16 market and contract renewals rates could shift below expectations when energy companies start announcing 2015 capex budgets late this year.
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.”
Oct. 21, 2014, 3:42 PM
- A 2015 deepwater market recovery is not the cards as oil companies head into budgeting season amid a shaky oil price outlook, with no reversal of negative news flow soon although it is already well appreciated by Wall Street, Morgan Stanley’s Ole Slorer and Jacob Ng say.
- The firm views a group inflection boiling down to an improving oil price outlook, and recommends sticking with premium asset exposure via Seadrill (SDRL +6.1%) and Atwood Oceanics (ATW +4.1%) in the meantime.
- The market already appears to be pricing in dividend cuts, with current yields now well above historical trading ranges, Stanley says while still seeing relative safety in yieldcos Transocean Partners (RIGP -0.5%) and Seadrill Partners (SDLP +4.1%), which should continue to offer strong distribution growth profiles driven by parent need for funding.
- While retaining Equal Weight ratings on both Noble (NE +3.9%) and Ensco (ESV +3.1%), Stanley sees higher total return upside in NE (~25%) vs. ESV (~10%) over the next few months.
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