Jan 23 Noble Corp, owner of the world's
third-largest offshore drilling fleet, reported on Wednesday a
lower-than-expected quarterly profit as it struggled with
maintenance for five high-end rigs, even as demand for its most
capable units increased.
Fourth-quarter net profit was $128 million, or 50 cents per
share, compared with $127 million, or 50 cents per share, a year
before. Revenue grew 29 percent to $966 million. Analysts, on
average, had expected a profit of 61 cents per share, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Chief Executive David Williams said the "inconsistent
operating performance" in the quarter was due largely to five
rigs that just emerged from the shipyard last year, but
accounted for a third of the downtime days last quarter.
"Initial operations on these five rigs have not been as
seamless as we had hoped, particularly with respect to certain
critical components," Williams said in a statement.