Oct 31 Ensco Plc, owner of the world's
second-largest offshore drilling fleet, reported on Wednesday a
higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strengthening
demand for its most capable rigs and some new additions to the
Third-quarter net profit rose to $344 million, or $1.48 per
share, from $205 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding some items, Ensco earned $1.53 per share, whereas
analysts on average had expected $1.30 per share, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue grew 23 percent to $1.12
The start-ups of two new deepwater rigs this year, along
with better rates for all its deepwater rigs, gave a big lift to
earnings in the quarter, the London-based company said.
"Ensco's growth will continue as we complete the
construction of six additional rigs that will be delivered
through the end of 2014," Chief Executive Dan Rabun said.
Rivals Noble Corp and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc
both forecast steadily rising demand for deepwater rigs
along with their results two weeks before.
Ensco shares are up 6 percent in the past three months, in
line with Diamond but better than Noble's 2 percent rise. Shares
of sector leader Transocean Ltd, which reports results
early next week, have declined by 2 percent in the last quarter.