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Noble Corporation plc (NE)

- NYSE
  • Fri, May 29, 3:57 PM
    • Rowan (RDC -1.5%) stands out in the otherwise troubled offshore drilling contracting sector, J.P. Morgan analysts say, highlighted by its mix of incumbent jackups, strong high-spec UDW contract coverage and minimal newbuild capex.
    • But JPM sees trouble for most of the other names in the group, with dayrates and utilization likely continuing to trend downward for both floaters and jackups as demand remains tepid and supply growth from newbuild deliveries outstrips fleet attrition.
    • While JPM assigns RDC an Overweight rating and a $26 price target, it Underweights Ensco (ESV -2%), Noble (NE -2.1%) and Transocean (RIG -0.7%), citing strong leverage to asset classes, regions or customers that could prove challenged; Neutral-rated Diamond Offshore (DO -0.9%) faces similar challenges but the firm thinks more of the bad news is priced into its shares.
    • The firm believes the recent run in the sector is commodity-driven short covering and likely to prove fleeting.
    • Earlier: Halliburton, Schlumberger stand out in battered oil services, J.P. Morgan says
    | 14 Comments
  • Tue, May 19, 11:49 AM
    • Offshore drilling contractors are sharply lower across the board after Transocean's (RIG -5.1%) latest fleet status update showed the company has idled three more deepwater rigs, bringing its number of out-of-work units to 15.
    • RIG said its deepwater floater Marianas joined the idle fleet along with the Celtic Sea and M.G. Hulme Jr., pushing the idle fleet count to nine rigs.
    • The Development Driller II, GSF Rig 140 and Sedco Express were extended by an average of ~80 days but at reduced dayrates; Development Driller II was extended at $315K/day for 100 days, GSF Rig 140 suffered a 40% dayrate reduction to $156K for 120 days, and Sedco Express was extended for 18 days with no rate change.
    • Credit Suisse reiterates its Underperform rating with $12 price target, and Cowen maintains its Market Perform rating and $14 price target.
    • Also: SDRL -5%, NE -3.6%, ESV -3.6%, RDC -4.2%, DO -4.7%, ATW -3.4%, PACD -6.1%.
    | 23 Comments
  • Tue, May 12, 11:35 AM
    • Ocean Rig UDW’s (ORIG +13.6%) better than expected Q1 earnings report follows the pattern set earlier this reporting season by Transocean (RIG +1.7%), Noble (NE +2.8%) and Diamond Offshore (DO -0.1%), and the group is moving higher in morning trade.
    • Q1 contract drilling revenues of $402M beat estimates, as ORIG’s on-the-water fleet again delivered an impressive operating performance, Cowen analysts say; ORIG achieved record utilization of 99%, up from last quarter’s 95%, and adjusted EBITDA of $219M was well ahead of Wall Street’s $168M forecast.
    • Q1 operating expenses of $153M were down 22% Q/Q as cost-cutting initiatives are starting to be reflected in results, a trend Cowen expects will continue throughout the remainder of 2015.
    • ORIG also maintained its $0.19/share quarterly dividend even in the face of a declining offshore rig market.
    • Also: SDRL +4.7%, ESV +2.3%, RDC +2.1%, ATW +0.8%.
    | 5 Comments
  • Tue, May 5, 2:35 PM
    • Diamond Offshore (DO +5.9%) is surging a day after reporting better than expected Q1 results due to a lower tax rate for the quarter after adjusting for impairments and restructuring charges, but Susquehanna analysts refuse to jump on the bull train.
    • The firm cuts its 2015-16 EPS estimates to $1.95 and $0.01 from $2.18 and $0.09 to reflect lower revenues based on expected dayrates and utilization, as DO indicated that its outlook is expected to be worse for the remainder of 2015 and is showing the first signs of leading edge rigs becoming un-contracted as they roll off.
    • Despite cost-cutting measures DO and other offshore drillers have taken to offset lower utilization, the firm believes dayrates and activity levels still have room to go lower.
    • But with oil price strength today, DO and other offshore drillers are moving higher: SDRL +10.2%, RIG +4.2%, ESV +3.1%, RDC +4.5%, ATW +4.5%, NE +1.9%, PACD +6.8%, HERO +6.5%.
    | 7 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 30, 12:55 PM
    • Noble Corp. (NE +8.3%) shoots higher following Q1 earnings reported after yesterday's close that easily beat expectations, as low fleet downtime and cost-control efforts helped results in a time of low energy prices.
    • NE said Q1 margins in its contract drilling business rose to 59% from 50% in the prior quarter; Q1 average daily revenue rose 2.8% Q/Q, while fleet utilization climbed to 86% from 82%.
    • However, NE said it expected its capital spending to fall to ~$585M in FY 2015 from $1.9B in 2014.
    • NE ended the quarter with a contract backlog of $9.4B, down from $10.1B on Dec 31.
    | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Apr. 29, 5:04 PM
    • Noble Corp (NYSE:NE): Q1 EPS of $0.72 beats by $0.21.
    • Revenue of $804M (+1.1% Y/Y) beats by $26.63M.
    • Shares +1.5% AH.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Apr. 21, 11:48 AM
    • Raymond James doubles down on its negative outlook for offshore drilling contractors, as the firm cites the lack of new contracts and the need for a much more significant move in oil prices to materially change the sector's landscape.
    • The firm says the current contracting rate trends well below its expected pace and even below 2009 levels as the desire to pursue further activity skids to a halt, and believes that 2016 consensus estimates have substantial room for downward earnings revisions; including contract cancellations, the sector actually experienced negative incremental demand during the Q1.
    • Raymond James sees the average offshore rig count declining by 13% in 2016 and a further 4% in 2017; even with cost-cutting efforts, it expects the average uncontracted rig to lose money as leading edge dayrates will flirt with risked breakeven levels with only minimal recovery in the next two years given the levels of excess supply.
    • Offshore drillers are lower today: ORIG -5.8%, RIG -4.5%, SDRL -4.1%, NE -2.8%, ESV -2.8%, DO -2.1%, ATW -2.1%, PACD -2%, RDC -1.9%.
    | 13 Comments
  • 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%.
    | 14 Comments
  • 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%.
    | 14 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 19, 5:37 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: PRTA +38.6%. ENVI +33.8%. NE +3.8%. VEC +3.4%. CPN +2.4%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: MIK -5.3%. AKS -1.9%. DBVT -1.6%. MX -1.6%. H -1.5%.
    | 2 Comments
  • 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%.
    | 20 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 5:37 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: MDR +26.1%. NSAM +5.8%. XON +5.1%. NE +4.9%. EWQ +3.7%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: OPWR -12.7%. GWRE -5.9%. GRUB -4.7%. ISDR -4.6%. ST -4.4%.
    | 3 Comments
  • 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%.
    | 19 Comments
  • 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%.
    | 10 Comments
  • Fri, Feb. 6, 12:57 PM
    • Offshore drillers haven't gained much analyst respect lately (I, II, III, IV), but new reports on Noble Corp. (NE +4.4%) and Pacific Drilling (PACD +0.2%)paint an unusually optimistic picture.
    • Susquehanna remains Positive-rated on NE as a preferred name among offshore drillers, raising its 2015-16 EPS estimates to a respective $2.44 and $1.59 from $2.04 and $1.42 while cutting its forecast for contract drilling expenses to account for the retirement of three semi-submersible rigs and an expected reduction in per-rig operating costs in 2015.
    • Zephirin Group is optimistic about PACD’s prospects, despite the fact that it pulled a rig out of Brazil amid the shakeup at Petrobras; it maintains its Buy rating, citing the tender of the UDW Pacific Meltem to Chevron for work in the Gulf of Mexico.
    | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 4, 6:41 PM
    • Noble Corp. (NYSE:NE) -3% AH after Q4 earnings fall short of expectations and says it will defer indefinitely plans to launch an MLP, citing diminished appeal due to the decline in offshore market fundamentals.
    • NE says its total contract backlog at year-end 2014 was ~$10.1B vs. $10.6B at the end of Q3, with depletion partially offset by new contracts that added $342M mostly from three-year contract extensions on two Middle East-based jackups at dayrates of $143K each.
    • Says it will no longer market the semi-submersibles Noble Paul Wolff, Noble Driller and Noble Jim Thompson, and plans to retire the units.
    | 1 Comment
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Company Description
Noble Corp PLC is an offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. It performs contract drilling services with its fleet of mobile offshore drilling units.