Transocean Ltd.’s (RIG, RIGN.VX) first-quarter earnings fell 86% as impairment charges again weighed on the offshore oil-driller’s bottom-line results.
Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling company, was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, the rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 people and setting off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Transocean still faces significant challenges as it faces potentially costly litigation with BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) and the U.S. government over the oil spill.
The company in October completed its $1.43 billion acquisition of rival Aker Drilling ASA last month, a move that expands its business into the harsher, more challenging sub-Arctic waters.
For the latest period, Transocean reported a profit of $42 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $310 million, or 96 cents a share. The most recent period included net losses of 52 cents a share, primarily due to impairment, while the year-ago period included 43 cents of per-share gains, primarily due to the gain on the sale of the Trident 20.
Revenue rose 8.7% to $2.33 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected a per-share profit of 33 cents and revenue of $2.39 billion.
Operating and maintenance expenses were up 3.8%.
Average daily revenue rose 2.6% from a year earlier and rose 1.7% from the prior quarter. Its fleet utilization rate was 61%, up from 55% a year ago and unchanged from the previous quarter.
Shares were up by 17 cents to $50.10 after-hours Wednesday. The stock has gained 30% so far this year.
Copyright © 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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