Despite the storm in the offshore rig market, Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) reported solid fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market closed today. The company beat Wall Street estimates for both revenue and earnings. With that as our backdrop, let's drill down a bit deeper into the quarter.
A look at the numbers
Atwood Oceanic reported revenue of $323.4 million, which beat estimates by about $3 million. Revenue was also up over last quarter as well as last year's fourth quarter. In both of those quarters, Atwood Oceanic's revenue was $292.7 million.
Net income was also strong this quarter. The company reported net income of $112.2 million, or $1.72 per share, which was $0.17 higher than analysts were expecting. Earnings per share are up $0.61 from last quarter and $0.15 higher than last year's fourth quarter.
Driving these gains was the company's ultra-deepwater drilling segment. Revenue for the segment rose to $137 million, which is up $19 million over last quarter and $48 million higher than last year's fourth quarter. The real highlight is that segment costs are down $2 million over last quarter, which helped drive profits. The addition of the Atwood Achiever, which began to mobilize in the quarter, really drove the growth.
A look at the outlook
Atwood Oceanic's earnings press releases are much shorter on detail than are those of most of its peers. The company gives no forward guidance, nor does it make any comments about the future. For that, investors will need to tune in to the company's conference call Tuesday morning.
That being said, what we do know is that the company did delay the delivery of two of its deepwater drilling rigs for six months. Further, the company has yet to announce any new contract extensions for the Atwood Hunter or Atwood Mako, both of which go off contract before the end of this calendar year. So given that outlook, we can safely assume that revenue and earnings face some headwinds as we head into 2015.
However, the rest of the company's fleet is well covered through 2015, as its firm contract backlog stood at $3.1 billion as of early September. So 2015 should still be a solid year for the company, and things could grow stronger toward the end of the year as new rigs get delivered and if it can find contracts for its two rigs that are currently running off contract.
Atwood Oceanic reported a pretty strong quarter amid the weakness in the offshore drilling market. All things considered, the company is entering 2015 in a fairly strong position, as it has just has two legacy rigs without contract, along with its two new builds. The company was proactive in delaying those new builds, which will give it some additional flexibility as it waits for the offshore drilling market to improve.
Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Atwood Oceanics. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.