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%.
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%.
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%.
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%.
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, 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%.
Thu, Feb. 26, 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%.
Wed, Feb. 25, 10:19 AM
- Petrobras (PBR -8.3%) plunges in early trading after Moody's downgraded the heavily indebted company's long-term debt to a junk Ba2 rating from Baa3 with a negative outlook.
- Brazil's finance minister reportedly made a last-minute attempt to the rating agency to try to reverse the decision, offering a guarantee that the government would support the company if necessary.
- "The main concern now will be another cut to junk by Fitch or S&P, which could lead the company’s bonds to be sold by many institutional investors," says the head of fixed income at Andbanc Brokerage.
- Separately, PBR reportedly will not renew leases on at least four drilling rigs from Seadrill (SDRL +0.2%), Pacific Drilling (PACD -2.2%) and Diamond Offshore (DO -1.6%) that have been under negotiation since last year; DO already had disclosed the cancellation in its latest 10-K, and SDRL recently warned that contract extensions with PBR likely would fail.
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%.
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.
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, 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%.
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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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