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Photo credit: Seadrill 

Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) is scheduled to release its first quarter results on May 28. It's an important report for the company as Seadrill's stock has been under a lot of pressure this year. The hope for investors is that Seadrill will actually be able to deliver some good news that will give its stock a boost.

There is some reason to hope as both Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and Ensco (NYSE:ESV) defied critics this quarter and delivered solid results. Transocean saw its revenue improve while its costs fell, both of which enabled the company to earn higher income than the previous quarter. Meanwhile, Ensco's earnings were solid and only down about 3% over last year's first quarter. Further, Ensco expects its second quarter revenue to improve by 4%, which is a very positive sign for the company as it suggests the rig market isn't as weak as some think.

In order to help investors better understand what to expect when Seadrill reports earnings, I've created the following slideshow. It details the three areas investors need to watch closest to make sure Seadrill is still on the right course for long-term outperformance. 

1 great place to earn income in the energy sector
Seadrill of course is a great dividend paying stock. However, it knows the secret of really great dividends is found in using a little known strategy. That's why Seadrill created another company to take advantage of small IRS "loophole" to really line its investors' pockets with cash. To learn more about the this income strategy you need to check out our special report "The IRS Is Daring You To Make This Energy Investment." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Matt DiLallo owns shares of Seadrill. The Motley Fool recommends Seadrill. The Motley Fool owns shares of Seadrill and Transocean. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.