So far this reporting season we've heard from deepwater denizen Noble
I've written about the Helmerich maneuver, in which the company delivers superior value through its high-quality rigs, and captures premium pricing power in the process. Back at $34, I called the company "perplexingly cheap." As investors see results like those of the past quarter, they may finally be recognizing H&P's prowess.
At H&P's core U.S. land operations, rig utilization held tenaciously to last quarter's 95% figure. Dayrates lifted, and per-rig daily expenses dropped as the fleet continued to grow, as evidenced by a higher number of "revenue days." Cash margins clocked in higher, at 52%. These combined factors led to a 16% sequential increase in operating income within the segment, and the year-over-year improvement was even better.
The recent fleet expansion was no fluke. H&P announced even more orders for its fabulous FlexRig, some of which will help Quicksilver Resources
Based on what I know about the international drilling market, that marks a significant change in mind-set. It also marks a potential step change for H&P's international segment, which has a bit of a gap to close in terms of drilling margins.
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Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy provides serious horsepower.