Yesterday, 5:30 PM
- Land drilling activity cuts that began late last year are nearing an end with the bottom likely this quarter, Goldman Sachs says as it upgrades land drillers Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN), Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) and Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) to Buy from Neutral.
- Goldman believes the sharp reduction in rig activity - with rig declines reaching 900-plus rigs on average in Q2 2015 v- has started the self-correcting mechanism in oil supply, and that oil production should flatten in Q2 and is unlikely to grow Y/Y by Q4; the firm now expects the U.S. land rig count to increase by ~430 rigs by year-end 2016, with the horizontal rig count increasing by nearly 300 rigs.
- Earlier: Helmerich & Payne upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Yesterday, 10:58 AM
- Helmerich & Payne (HP +3.2%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with an $85 price target, raised from $51, at Goldman Sachs, which notes HP's high exposure to increased demand for high-spec U.S. land rigs in 2016.
- The firm foresees 1,500HP or larger rigs to see the sharpest increase in utilization, increasing from 62% currently to the mid-80% range by late 2016, and that HP will be the biggest beneficiary of the demand pick-up since it controls nearly 50% of such available rigs.
- Goldman also likes HP's pristine balance sheet, with estimates 2016 net debt/capital of less than 1% vs. a 20% average for land drilling peers, and projects HP to generate substantial free cash flow in 2016 which can be used for dividend increases or share buybacks.
Thu, Apr. 23, 6:12 AM
Wed, Apr. 22, 5:30 PM
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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, Apr. 9, 5:48 PM
- Sell-rated Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) has the greatest risk for negative revisions among its oilfield services peers, Citi analyst Scott Gruber writes, since earnings compression is happening faster at peers; 2016 estimates are above consensus for Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN), RPC (NYSE:RES) and Superior Energy (NYSE:SPN), partly reflecting improvement in pressure pumping margins given a lack of contract roll.
- Gruber also thinks consensus estimates are too optimistic, pricing in a full recovery in one year; the Street expects HP’s land business to generate $400M in sales in FY 2016, which Gruber estimates would require a spot dayrate of more than $30K/day or a rig count of ~270, which would be within 5% of the prior peak.
- HP currently trades at 1.7x 2016 consensus price to book value vs. 1.1x for PTEN, 1.1x for Precision Drilling (NYSE:PDS) and 0.9x for Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR); Gruber says history suggests downside risk to 1x as HP's return on equity likely will fall to 3% in 2016.
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, Jan. 29, 5:46 PM
- In its earnings conference call today, Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) confirmed it may cut 2,000 jobs as it begins to idle rigs amid lower crude oil prices.
- "The rig count reduction thus far has been more swift than many expected," CEO John Lindsay said during the call.
- HP also said it would now build only two high-tech FlexRigs per month this year, down from the four rigs it had planned.
- HP shares fell as much as 10% to a 52-week low $54 before recovering somewhat to end -3.7%, as a weak forecast for 2015 margins and revenue overshadowed better than expected FQ1 earnings.
Thu, Jan. 29, 9:59 AM
- Helmerich & Payne (HP -6.9%) opens sharply lower after reporting better than expected FQ1 earnings due to compensation from the early termination of contracts, and warning that results for the rest of 2015 would be hurt by lower oil prices.
- In FQ2, HP expects revenue days (activity) in the U.S. land segment to decrease by ~25% Q/Q, with average rig revenue per day falling from $28.6K in FQ1 to $27K-$27.5K; in the offshore segment, HP sees revenue days remaining flat Q/Q, with average rig margin per day of ~$19.5K from $20.7K in FQ1.
- Citigroup downgrades HP shares to Sell from Neutral and cuts its price target to $55 from $71, believing "the defensive shine on the stock is tarnished by a collapse in rig pricing and utilization, as well as rising risk of contract cancellations/resets."
Thu, Jan. 29, 6:17 AM| 2 Comments
Wed, Jan. 28, 5:30 PM
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Wed, Jan. 28, 3:59 PM
- Energy stocks are broadly lower as Nymex crude oil futures fell another $1.68/bbl (-3.6%) to $44.53 after today's inventory report showed the largest weekly supply buildup since 1982, but drilling contractor are whacked with especially large losses.
- Examples: NBR -11.7%, PTEN -8.6%, PES -10.9%, PDS -12.3%, KEG -6.5%; Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP), which reportedly has launched a round of steep layoffs, -6.3%.
- Among independent producers: DNR -9.7%, NFX -4.6%, SM -8.6%, SGY -10%, SD -9.7%, EOG -5.3%, PXD -6.8%, QEP -6%, APC -4.2%, XEC -3%.
- ETFs: XLE, ERX, VDE, OIH, XOP, ERY, FCG, DIG, GASL, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, IEZ, PXE, PXI, FENY, PXJ, RYE, FXN, DDG
Fri, Jan. 9, 12:40 PM
- Nabors Industries (NBR -3.4%) and Helmerich & Payne (HP -1.7%) are both downgraded to Hold form Buy at KeyBanc (I, II) following this week's business update from HP, which reveals how quickly and dramatically U.S. rig activity is reacting to the drop in oil prices.
- The firm expects the impact of a reduced number of working rigs and a drop on spot market dayrates to significantly hurt profitability at the two companies, at least until demand stabilizes; customers are sharply curtailing their drilling programs and releasing rigs as they come off contract.
- KeyBanc forecasts NBR's contracted rigs in the lower 48 states falling from an average of ~200 in Q4 2014 to 170 in Q1 2015, and to average 155 for full-year 2015.
Wed, Jan. 7, 3:23 PM
- Oil driller Helmerich & Payne (HP -6.5%) is the day's biggest S&P 500 loser after saying rates for its high-tech rigs have tumbled 10% Q/Q and warns of more softness ahead because of falling crude oil prices.
- "Drilling activity and spot dayrate pricing are now expected to significantly decline in the U.S.," HP says in a presentation which indicates deteriorating utilization and dayrates among land drillers is spreading farther and faster than expected.
- HP says the idle and available number of its FlexRigs has risen to 26 from 15 since Dec. 11, and sees expects to see another 40-50 FlexRigs become idle in the next 30 days from its current total of 287 but does not foresee further idling beyond that point.
- SunTrust analysts think HP’s rig count will wind up lower by the mid-30s in percentage Q/Q, cutting their 2015 EPS estimates on HP to $2.60, well below the consensus of $5.56, and slashing their price target to $56 from $70.
- Credit Suisse's James Wicklund, who offered little optimism for the oil service sector today, also slashed his estimates on land drillers HP, Nabors Industries (NBR -3.6%), Precision Drilling (PDS -2.1%) and Patterson-UTI (PTEN -3.6%) - "the result is ugly."
Tue, Jan. 6, 11:19 AM
- Craig Hodges, co-portfolio manager of the Hodges Blue Chip 25 Fund, says he is going bargain hunting in the beaten-down energy sector because he sees oil eventually rebounding toward $80-$90/bbl.
- Hodges particularly likes Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR), which has dropped from $60 to the low $30s because it is a big driller in the relatively higher-priced Bakken Shale, but he expects a significant rebound when the energy sector normalizes; Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) has lost 40%-45% of its value in recent weeks, but it is a very longstanding, high-quality maker of flex rigs for drillers.
- The Hodges fund's top holding is U.S. Steel (NYSE:X), whose cost cuts since 2008 have the company structured so that its stock will surge when it enjoys a resurgence in demand; other stocks he likes for the long term include TRN, TCBI, BA.
HP vs. ETF Alternatives
Helmerich & Payne Inc is engaged in contract drilling of oil & gas wells for others in the ownership, development & operation of commercial real estates. Its business comprises of three reportable segments: U.S. Land, Offshore & International Land.
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