What happened

Shares of Transocean (RIG -3.89%) rallied as much as 14.4% on Tuesday before finishing up about 8% when the market closed at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Fueling the rise in the energy company's shares were its third-quarter results.

So what

Transocean reported somewhat mixed third-quarter results. On a positive note, the offshore driller hauled in $784 million of revenue. While that was 4% below the year-ago tally, it beat analysts' expectations by $10.4 million. The company, however, reported a net loss of $234 million, or $0.38 per share. That was not only worse than the year-ago adjusted loss of $209 million, or $0.34 per share, but also missed the consensus estimate by $0.01 per share.

Oil platform and tanker ship on offshore area at sunset.

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors, however, focused on the positives. One of the biggest was Transocean's outlook. CEO Jeremy Thigpen stated that: "We continue to become more encouraged by our current and future prospects and our increasing level of tender participation. We are gaining improved visibility to additional opportunities in the harsh environment market of Norway; along with escalating interest in our fleet of high-specification ultra-deepwater assets for upcoming projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa." This positive view of the offshore drilling market's recovery suggests that better days are ahead for Transocean.

Now what

After several challenging years, the offshore drilling market has finally started showing signs of life this year. That's becoming increasingly evident in the number of new opportunities that Transocean and its peers have to bid on offshore drilling contracts. This increase in its workload should eventually drive a meaningful improvement in the company's financial results.