What's happening: Shares of offshore driller Seadrill, Ltd. (NYSE:SDRL) are up more than 13% today, in what has been a very up-and-down 2015 so far.
Why it's happening: Seadrill released its second-quarter earnings report before market open today, and overall there was a lot to like. Earnings per share came in at $0.77, well ahead of Wall Street estimates of $0.63. The company also paid down (and transferred to a subsidiary) about $1 billion in debt, got shipbuilders to agree to delay delivery of 10 newbuilds (pushing two high-cost drillships out a full two years!), all while slightly increasing its cash position.
At the same time, oil prices have jumped big today, with both Brent (the international benchmark) and West Texas Intermediate (a North American standard) up more than 9% at this writing.
Combine these two things, and Mr. Market's outlook for Seadrill is much better today.
But with that said, investors should keep in mind that the outlook for offshore drilling isn't expected to improve anytime soon. Even Seadrill's own earnings release warns about the heavy oversupply of vessels operating, and that it could take all of 2016 -- or beyond -- before the market for offshore drilling fully recovers. Don't get me wrong, the release was full of good news, but there are still big risks for offshore drillers, and Seadrill isn't immune to those risks.