* Q1 EPS $1.27 vs est $1.16
* Revenue falls 5 pct to $729.7 mln
* Deepwater unit utilization at 94 pct vs 88 pct year ago
April 25 Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc,
one of the world's top five offshore rig contractors, reported
first-quarter results above analysts' expectations due to higher
utilization of its deepwater units.
Utilization of deepwater floaters rose to 94 percent from 88
percent a year earlier. Rates for the units also rose 8 percent,
resulting in a 13 percent rise in revenue from deepwater units.
Net income fell to $176 million, or $1.27 per share, in the
quarter ended March 31, from $185.2 million, or $1.33 per share,
a year earlier.
Total revenue fell 5 percent to $729.7 million.
Analysts on average expected a profit of $1.16 on revenue of
$712.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company's net income in the first quarter of 2012
included an after-tax gain of about $16 million, or $0.12 per
share, from the sale of a rig.
Diamond Offshore also declared a special quarterly cash
dividend of 75 cents per share and a regular cash dividend of
125 cents per share.
Rival Noble Corp posted a higher-than-expected profit
last week as it put some of its struggles with fleet maintenance
behind it and rig activity headed higher.