Why Shares of Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc Popped Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of oil driller Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE: DO  ) jumped as much as 10.6% today after releasing earnings.

So what: first quarter revenue fell 3% to $709.4 million but came in ahead of the $686.3 million estimate from analysts. Net income also dropped 17% to $145.8 million but adjusted earnings per share of $0.93 easily topped the $0.65 estimate.  

Now what: Expectations for early 2014 are low across the industry but we're seeing high utilization and dayrates in jack-ups, which is helping results. The ultra-deepwater segment, which has driven the industry's growth recently, was slow and utilization was down to 66% last quarter. I think the numbers are good, and with a $0.75 special dividend on top of the $0.125 quarterly dividend, shares have room to run as the overall drilling market improves this year.

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