As all Fools know, oil prices have jumped around in the past five quarters like a proverbial cork in a storm. The result has been difficult for most of the companies, except for the deepwater drillers, namely Diamond Offshore
Diamond Offshore reported its third-quarter results on Thursday, and the second-largest drilling contractor did a great deal to make itself proud. From a purely earnings standpoint, the company checked in with income of $361.4 million, or $2.62 a share, improving on earnings of $310.5 million, or $2.23 per share in the third quarter of 2008. Analysts who follow the company had been anticipating a consensus of $2.30 per share.
At the same time, Diamond Offshore announced regular and special dividends for the quarter. The company's regular dividend will amount to $0.125 per share. The special dividend, for which Diamond has become somewhat noteworthy, will total $1.875. As such, the total will amount to $2.00 per common share.
Diamond's earnings overage for the quarter coincided with that of Noble
If you listened to the company's conference call, you know that a couple of Diamond Offshore's key accomplishments were the acquisition, at attractive prices, of the Ocean Courage and the Ocean Valor, two dynamically positioned drilling rigs that can operate in as much as 10,000 feet of water. At the same time, as the quarter came to a close, the company issued $500 million in 30-year notes at a 5.7% interest rate.
During its call, management was asked about rumors that ExxonMobil
The key beneficiaries will surely be Diamond Offshore, Transocean, and Noble.