Why Hercules Offshore, Inc. Stock Sank 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 shallow water offshore driller Hercules Offshore, (NASDAQ: HERO  ) fell as much as 11% in trading today after reporting earnings. Late in the day, shares had recovered slightly, and were down 7%.

So what: Second-quarter results were a bit below expectations, with revenue rising 15%, to $243 million, but income from continuing operations fell by more than half, to $6.6 million, or $0.04 per share. On an adjusted basis, the loss was $6.5 million, or $0.04 per share, $0.05 below estimates. 

Now what: Demand for domestic drilling rigs was lighter than a year ago, and that resulted in the declining results. But dayrates stayed high, with domestic revenue per day climbing from $84,328 a year ago to $108,237, a general trend we've seen in the shallow water market. Management expects demand to pick up later this year, and that's consistent with what we've heard from others in the industry. I wouldn't be a seller today and, given the discount the market is giving, this is a nice entry point for investors who have been eyeing the stock.

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