(Reuters) - Offshore drilling contractor Ensco Plc (ESV.N) on Monday reported a higher-than-expected 6 percent rise in quarterly profit as the rates paid for its rigs improved on the back of stronger worldwide demand for them.
About two-thirds of Ensco’s revenue came from floating rigs, for which average rates rose by 13 percent over the past year to $399,000 per day. Rates for its shallow-water “jackup” rigs increased by 16 percent.
Ensco’s second-quarter net profit climbed to $361 million, or $1.55 per share, from $341 million, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 17 percent to $1.25 billion. Analysts had expected, on average, a profit of $1.50 per share on revenue of $1.23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Noble and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc both reported higher-than-expected quarterly profits earlier this month, lifted by the improved dayrates and, for Diamond, better utilization of its fleet.
Ensco’s fleet utilization - measuring the number of days rigs are under contract out of the number of days in total - actually declined to 84 percent in the second quarter from 90 percent the year before.
Shares of Ensco and Diamond have both declined by about 1 percent in 2013, whereas Transocean’s are up 5 percent and Noble’s up 9 percent. Shares of the most valuable offshore driller, Seadrill (SDRL.OL), has gained 14 percent so far this year.
Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Andrew Hay and Bob Burgdorfer