This may be the most mundane thing Transocean
Management indicated in the conference call that it would not be responsible for damage from the leaking oil.
For the quarter, the company's net income slipped to $677 million, or $2.09 per share, compared with $942 million, or $2.93 a share, a year ago. However, if you back out special charges, Transocean earned $2.22 per share for the latest quarter, compared with the $2.10 consensus among analysts. Revenues were $2.6 billion, versus $3.1 billion last year.
Since April 20, BP
We don't yet know the cause of the accident nor what its cost will be to Transocean. During the company's earnings call on Thursday, CFO Ricardo Rosa said Transocean management "assumes all environmental exposures related to the hydrocarbons released from the well are the responsibility of BP." However, it appears that the Coast Guard has also designated the drilling rig as a source of oil discharge. If so, the drilling contractor could become a responsible party.
Looking at the normal, everyday business of drilling offshore oil and gas wells, both Rosa and CEO Steven Newman indicated optimism about a strengthening of the jack-up market, which has been moribund for some time. Also, demand in the midwater depths appears to be picking up, while the ultra-deepwater "remains strong." The new strengthening indicates the potential for putting rigs back to work.
What does all this mean for Transocean as an investment objective? There's no doubt that the company is solid and well managed. But it's also surrounded by a bevy of major questions. I'd suggest that, for now, Fools play strengthening jack-up demand through Ensco
In the interest of full disclosure, Fool contributor David Lee Smith was once a Diamond Offshore hand. However, he doesn't own shares in any of the stocks named above. He does encourage you to forward your comments or questions to him. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.