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.
Mon, Aug. 10, 3:48 PM
- Raymond James analysts sayOcean Rig’s (ORIG +5%) Q2 earnings announced last Friday were impressive due to its high revenue efficiency and strong cost controls, but keep the stock rated Market Perform because of continued market weakness.
- ORIG continues to reduce its daily operating costs for active rigs, but the firm agrees with management's cautious view that it does not see any short-term market improvement coming soon.
- The firm also continues to rate Pacific Drilling (PACD +9.1%) at Market Perform, even as the offshore drilling contractor continues to post solid operational performance, with revenue efficiency again coming in near the top of guidance and lower-than-expected operating costs.
- But the PACD's outlook remains a concern, the firm says, because of anemic demand and the company’s availability, with up to four rigs with availability to start 2016 and very limited demand on the horizon.
Thu, Aug. 6, 4:50 PM
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%.
Thu, Jul. 23, 2:36 PM
- Pacific Drilling (PACD +10.6%) pushes to 10% gains after providing a business update that highlights significant cost improvements and reduced cost guidance across the board due to prudent project deferrals and overhead management.
- PACD increased its average revenue efficiency to 94%-96% from 92%-96%, cut 2015 capex to $425M-$450M from prior guidance of $500M-$525M and reduced Q2 G&A expenses to $55M-$58M from a prior outlook for $63M-$66M.
- PACD has been able to achieve $32M in cost savings and expects to deliver $100M in annual run rate savings for a 20% reduction.
- While Raymond James is impressed with the better than expected cost control guidance, the firm maintains its Market Perform rating on the stock amid caution because of the difficult environment facing offshore drilling demand.
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%.
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%.
Fri, Jun. 12, 10:29 AM
- The year-long oil price rout has depressed Pacific Drilling’s (PACD +4.9%) market value by nearly two-thirds, making it an attractive takeover target for operators looking to strengthen their presence in ultra-deepwater drilling, Bloomberg writes.
- PACD already has garnered interest from larger rivals such as Ensco (ESV -1.2%), Transocean (RIG -2.8%) and Seadrill (SDRL -1.9%) in the last 12-18 months, with one of the approaches coming as recently as this year, according to the report.
- PACD is not believed to be actively exploring a sale, but the shares are trading well below replacement value for the rigs that they own, Evercore analyst James West points out.
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.
Wed, May 27, 10:45 AM
- Offshore drillers have enjoyed a 27% bounce off their March lows but investors should not buy the "head fake" in the stocks, RBC analysts warn, believing the rally was driven mostly by short covering rather than a sustainable shift in offshore fundamentals.
- RBC continues to expect the market to be oversupplied into 2017, and sees more rigs rolling off contracts than are signed up for new work through H2 2015; the firm does not foresee a bottom in the global offshore floating rig count until Q2 2016 since the velocity of offshore spending is much slower than land, and it will take some time for rigs to be put back to work even as oil prices rise in H2.
- The sector is mostly lower, extending yesterday's sharp losses: SDRL, which reports earnings tomorrow, -0.4%, RIG +0.1%, ESV -0.4%, ATW -0.3%, DO -0.4%, RDC -0.1%, NE -0.1%, PACD -1.7%.
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%.
Thu, May 7, 5:25 PM
- Transocean (NYSE:RIG) ripped through its Q1 earnings estimates but shares fell 3.6% in today's trade, swept away along with most other energy companies as U.S. crude oil prices tumbled back below $60/bbl.
- But some analysts say RIG could have been the victim of a classic case of "buy the rumor, sell the news" after shares had gained 40% since March 13 heading into earnings.
- Analysts at Clarkson Capital believe RIG has "received more than enough credit over the past month to account for solid operational performance in Q1," urging investors not to chase the stock at current levels.
- Cowen's J.B. Lowe thinks today’s price action was "an awareness that there are no other major drillers to report upside earnings surprise (except Seadrill)... and that the recent run up in share prices has been too much too quickly."
- Other oil drillers also finished broadly lower: RIGP -4.3%, SDRL -6.8%, NE -6.6%, DO -4.6%, ESV -6.1%, RDC -2.9%, ATW -5.8%, PACD -8.7%.
Wed, May 6, 3:18 PM
- Pacific Drilling (PACD -3.7%) reported strong Q1 earnings on Monday, prompting Cowen analysts to maintain their Outperform rating on its shares but they also say PACD's relationship to Chevron (CVX -0.5%), once a positive, might have become a risk.
- PACD is now overly-reliant on its CVX backlog, with four of PACD’s five working rigs contracted to CVX (the fifth is working for Total) in either the Gulf of Mexico or Nigeria, the firm says; also, the newbuild Pacific Meltem is currently available for work in the Gulf of Mexico and actively being bid for CVX’s two-year tender in the region.
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%.
PACD vs. ETF Alternatives
Pacific Drilling SA is an international offshore drilling contractor committed to becoming the preferred provider of ultra-deepwater drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry through the use of high-specification rigs.
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