Deepwater Downtime Torments Seadrill in Latest Earnings Report

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August 27, 2012

seadrillSeadrill Ltd.’s (SDRL, SDRL.OS) second-quarter earnings fell 14% as higher operating expenses masked the Norwegian oil-services company’s rise in revenue.

The company, which provides drilling and well services, focuses on deepwater drilling. It expects current-quarter earnings to receive a boost from ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs West Leo and West Capricorn that started in the second quarter, partially offsetting 90 days of downtime on deepwater rigs relating to an equipment failure that has since been resolved.

Last month, the company said it received a commitment from a major oil company for three newbuild drillships, which could be valued at $4 billion. Two of the drillships are expected to be in the Gulf of Mexico in late February and May of next year.

For the second quarter, Seadrill reported a profit of $526 million, or $1.09 a share, down from a year-earlier profit of $615 million, or $1.29 a share.

Revenue rose 13% to $1.12 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $1.12 billion.

Operating margin narrowed slightly to 43% from 43.2%.

Operating profit for floaters, the company’s largest segment, rose 1.2% to $345 million, while the jack-up rigs business reported a 20% increase in operating profit. The tender rigs unit posted $78 million in profit, a 95% jump.

The company also increased its quarterly cash dividend by two cents to 84 cents.

Shares rose 1.6% to $41.78 in light premarket trading. The stock is up 24% so far this year as of Friday’s close.

– Anna Prior, (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company


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