Oct 18 Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc, one
of the world's top-five offshore rig contractors, reported a
better-than-expected profit on lower operating costs.
Net profit fell 31 percent in the third quarter while
revenue dropped 17 percent, falling short of analysts'
estimates. Operating costs fell 8 percent.
The company said it had won 13 rig contracts in the third
quarter, compared with 14 in the second quarter and a year
earlier. The contracts are expected to add up to $1.7 billion in
revenue to the company's drilling backlog.
Companies like Diamond Offshore and Noble Corp are
poised to benefit as activity in the Gulf of Mexico begins to
improve. The region is expected to be busier this year than at
any point since the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.
Diamond Offshore said it secured the new contracts at
The company said utilization rates fell for its deepwater
rigs in the third quarter. Utilization rates measure the number
of rigs being used as a percentage of a company's fleet.
Noble, owner of the world's third-largest offshore drilling
fleet, on Wednesday reported a decline in quarterly profit, hit
by extended downtime for its rigs.
"Our results for the quarter benefited from
lower-than-anticipated operating expense, primarily owing to our
continued emphasis on controlling costs," Diamond Offshore Chief
Executive Larry Dickerson said in a statement.
Diamond, majority-owned by Loews Corp, said
third-quarter net income fell to $178 million, or $1.28 per
share, from $257 million, or $1.85 per share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell to $729 million from $878 million.
Analysts had expected a profit of $1.02 per share on revenue
of $734.50 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Diamond Offshore, which has a market value of $9.70 billion,
said it will pay a special dividend of 75 cents per share and a
regular quarterly cash dividend of 12.5 cents per share.
Diamond Offshore shares, which have risen 26 percent this
year, closed at $69.77 on the New York Stock Exchange on