Noble Corporation Reports Improved Third Quarter 2013 Results as Operational Downtime Declines and New Rigs Commence Operations

ZUG, Switzerland, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) today reported third quarter 2013 earnings of $282 million, or $1.10 per diluted share. Results for the quarter included the sale of the jackup rig Noble Lewis Dugger, which closed in July, a settlement relating to the 2010 acquisition of Frontier Drilling and an impairment charge taken on two submersible rigs.  The net after tax gain for these items contributed approximately $63 million or $0.25 per diluted share during the quarter. Excluding the sale transaction, settlement and asset impairment charge, third quarter 2013 earnings were $219 million, or $0.85 per diluted share. The results compared to $177 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2013 and $115 million, or $0.45 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2012.  Total revenues for the third quarter of 2013 were $1.08 billion, compared to $1.02 billion in the second quarter of 2013 and $884 million in the third quarter of 2012.

David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corporation stated, "With the continued success of our shipyard program, Noble benefited from the earlier-than-expected commencement of operations on two new ultra-deepwater drillships, which combined with a further reduction in total operational downtime, fewer shipyard days and essentially flat operating costs, were the primary catalysts behind the excellent third quarter performance.  Our global operations execution continues to trend favorably with total operational downtime in the quarter falling to 4.6 percent from 5.2 percent in the previous quarter. Also, our shipyard execution has been exceptional, providing on-time deliveries and a smooth transition of the new rigs from the yard into contract commencement. As we continue the steady addition of new ultra-deepwater drillships and high-specification jackups to our rapidly transforming offshore fleet, the improved mix of premium rigs should drive further improvement in our contract drilling margins, as we saw in the third quarter."

Contract drilling services revenues for the third quarter of 2013 improved 7 percent to $1.04 billion compared to revenues of $975 million in the second quarter.  The increase was primarily driven by the commencement of operations of the new ultra-deepwater drillships Noble Don Taylor and Noble Globetrotter II, a reduction in shipyard time and lower fleet downtime. Contract drilling services costs totaled $488 million in the third quarter, a slight decrease compared to operating costs of $492 million in the second quarter. The third quarter decrease relates to an $8 million Mexico VAT settlement included in the prior quarter costs, partially offset by cost increases resulting from the operational commencement of the two newbuild drillships. Contract drilling margin for the third quarter of 2013 increased to 53.1 percent from 49.6 percent during the second quarter.

Net cash from operating activities improved to $516 million in the third quarter of 2013 compared to $443 million for the second quarter.  The improvement was primarily due to the Frontier settlement and increased earnings resulting from higher daily revenues, which increased 4 percent in the quarter to approximately $194,600. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, net cash from operations was $1.2 billion. Capital expenditures in the third quarter were $480 million, including $270 million related to the Company's newbuild construction program, which included the delivery in August of the Company's first of six JU3000N high-specification jackups, the Noble Mick O'Brien. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, capital expenditures totaled $1.72 billion, of which $1.02 billion was related to the newbuild construction program. The Company estimates approximately $2.4 billion in capital expenditures will be required to complete the remaining nine newbuilds under construction, comprised of three ultra-deepwater drillships and six high-specification jackups. Capital expenditures for 2013 are expected to total $2.6 billion.

Total debt at September 30, 2013 was $5.3 billion, essentially unchanged from the second quarter, resulting in debt as a percentage of total capitalization of 37 percent, compared to 38 percent at June 30, 2013. During the third quarter, the Company entered into a $600 million, 364-day unsecured revolving credit facility agreement, bringing the Company's total revolver capacity to $2.9 billion. At September 30, 2013, liquidity, defined as cash and cash equivalents plus availability under revolving credit facilities, totaled $1.8 billion.

The effective tax rate for the third quarter of 2013 was 16 percent, reflecting favorable changes in the geographic mix of pre-tax income and the recognition of certain discrete benefits in the quarter.

Operating Highlights
Total contract backlog at September 30, 2013 was approximately $16.2 billion compared to $16.0 billion at June 30, 2013.  The increase was primarily due to contract awards on several of the Company's jackup rigs operating in the North Sea, West Africa and in the Middle East, where the Noble Scott Marks and Noble Roger Lewis were awarded three-year contracts at a dayrate of $257,500, a new high for Middle East jackups of this class in terms of both dayrate and contract duration.

During the third quarter of 2013, utilization of the Company's floating rig fleet (semisubmersibles and drillships) was 79 percent compared to 77 percent in the second quarter. Excluding the impact of two cold stacked floaters, utilization in the third quarter was 86 percent compared to 84 percent in the second quarter. Average daily revenues in the floating rig fleet were $369,100 in the third quarter, or an improvement of 6 percent compared to $346,900 in the second quarter. The newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships Noble Don Taylor and Noble Globetrotter II began their initial contracts during the quarter, contributing to the improvement in average daily revenues.

Third quarter 2013 utilization of the Company's jackup rig fleet was 94 percent compared to 92 percent in the second quarter. The Company was successful in securing a number of contracts for its jackup fleet during the third quarter, including nine contract awards with durations of one to three years for rigs primarily located in the North Sea and Middle East regions. These nine contracts added an estimated $1.3 billion to the Company's backlog. The Company also secured a 10-month contract for the Noble Houston Colbert, one of five JU3000N jackups currently under construction. The rig will operate for Total offshore Argentina at a dayrate of $247,000, with the contract expected to commence in April 2014.

At the end of the third quarter of 2013, approximately 80 percent of the Company's available rig operating days were committed for the remainder of 2013, including 84 percent of the floating rig days and 83 percent of the jackup rig days. For 2014, an estimated 71 percent of the available rig operating days were committed, including 76 percent and 72 percent of the floating and jackup rig days, respectively. The calculations for committed operating days include available days for two floaters, two submersibles and one jackup, all of which are cold stacked.

Outlook
Addressing industry activity, Williams commented, "Our view of the offshore drilling business remains decidedly positive, with jackup and floating rig contract opportunities visible in a number of regions. In the jackup rig sector, we expect to see a continuation of improving customer demand for high-specification and standard capability rigs well into 2014. Incremental customer demand is anticipated in Mexico, the North Sea, Asia and the Middle East. Many of the opportunities include contract durations ranging from one to three years, with isolated opportunities beyond three years. In the floating rig sector, ultra-deepwater capable rigs with advanced technical features are continuing to experience robust demand. Strong, sustained crude oil prices, a heightened focus by customers on exploration opportunities with an increasing interest in frontier locations, and the onset of a growth phase in field development programs are driving customer demand for the foreseeable future. Floating rigs with less sophisticated drilling features remain viable candidates for many customer needs, including opportunities in Latin America, West Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. However, we expect to see an increase in rig mobilizations, causing interruptions in utilization, as many of these rigs seek opportunities in areas where the rig's technical features and the customer's well construction requirements are better aligned."

In closing, Williams noted, "We continue to make significant progress with the strategic transformation of the Company, putting Noble in a position to successfully compete for future opportunities, while building value for our shareholders. Our operational execution has improved throughout 2013 and has benefitted from the implementation of processes and systems which have contributed to our improved fleet uptime. We are also moving forward with the next phase of the project involving the spin-off of some of our standard assets with an expected completion in 2014. Further, eight of our final newbuild rigs are expected to be delivered from shipyards by the end of 2014, largely completing our heavy newbuild project backlog which will contribute to a growing level of free cash flow as these premium assets commence operations."

About Noble
Noble is a leading offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry. Noble performs, through its subsidiaries, contract drilling services with a fleet of 79 offshore drilling units (including three ultra-deepwater drillships and seven high-specification jackup drilling rigs currently under construction), located worldwide, including in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, Mexico, Brazil, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Middle East, India, Malaysia and Australia. Noble's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NE." Additional information on Noble Corporation is available on the Company's Web site at http://www.noblecorp.com.

Statements regarding contract backlog, earnings, costs, revenue, rig demand, fleet condition or performance, shareholder value, timing of delivery of newbuilds, contract commitments, dayrates, contract commencements, contract extensions or renewals, letters of intent or award, industry fundamentals, customer relationships and requirements, a potential spin off of a portion of our fleet, a potential change in our corporate domicile, strategic initiatives, future performance, growth opportunities, market outlook, as well as any other statements that are not historical facts in this release, are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These include but are not limited to operating hazards and delays, actions by regulatory authorities, customers and other third parties, risks associated with operations outside of the U.S., actions by regulatory authorities, customers and others, legislation and regulations affecting drilling operations, compliance with regulatory requirements, factors affecting the level of activity in the oil and gas industry, supply and demand of drilling rigs, factors affecting the duration of contracts, delays in the construction of newbuilds, the actual amount of downtime, factors that reduce applicable dayrates, violations of anti-corruption laws, hurricanes and other weather conditions, the future price of oil and gas, the inability to consummate a potential spin-off transaction or change in corporate domicile or the inability to realize the expected benefits from any such transactions and other factors detailed in the Company's most recent Form 10-K, Form 10-Q's and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated. 

Conference Call
Noble has scheduled a conference call and webcast related to its third quarter 2013 results on Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time. Interested parties are invited to listen to the call by dialing 1-866-461-7129, or internationally 1-706-679-3084, using access code: 75237180, or by asking for the Noble Corporation conference call. Interested parties may also listen over the Internet through a link posted in the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site. 

A replay of the conference call will be available on Thursday, October 17, 2013, beginning at 11:00 a.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time, through Thursday, October 31, 2013, ending at 11:00 p.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time. The phone number for the conference call replay is 1-855-859-2056 or, for calls from outside of the U.S., 1-404-537-3406, using access code: 75237180.  The replay will also be available on the Company's Web site following the end of the live call.  

 

 

 NOBLE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME 

 (In thousands, except per share amounts) 

 (Unaudited) 














Three Months Ended


Nine Months Ended




September 30,


September 30,




2013


2012


2013


2012

 Operating revenues 










 Contract drilling services 


$ 1,041,118


$ 833,212


$ 2,945,310


$ 2,427,759


 Reimbursables 


29,242


28,137


78,676


94,090


 Labor contract drilling services 


8,493


22,667


43,150


58,538


 Other 


28


16


105


258




1,078,881


884,032


3,067,241


2,580,645

 Operating costs and expenses 










 Contract drilling services 


488,250


449,125


1,464,320


1,292,638


 Reimbursables 


23,671


21,047


61,294


76,618


 Labor contract drilling services 


8,153


12,991


29,804


34,070


 Depreciation and amortization 


223,711


195,087


642,456


549,779


 Selling, general and administrative 


33,776


26,858


86,196


75,388


 Loss on impairment 


3,585


-


3,585


18,345


 Gain on disposal of assets, net 


(35,646)


-


(35,646)


-


 Gain on contract settlements/extinguishments, net 


(45,000)


-


(46,800)


(33,255)




700,500


705,108


2,205,209


2,013,583











 Operating income 


378,381


178,924


862,032


567,062











 Other income (expense) 










 Interest expense, net of amount capitalized 


(23,149)


(25,635)


(75,115)


(56,783)


 Interest income and other, net 


1,057


1,553


1,587


4,526

 Income before income taxes 


356,289


154,842


788,504


514,805


 Income tax provision 


(55,830)


(25,162)


(127,006)


(93,107)

 Net income 


300,459


129,680


661,498


421,698


 Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 


(18,502)


(14,906)


(52,861)


(26,931)

 Net income attributable to Noble Corporation 


$    281,957


$ 114,774


$    608,637


$    394,767











 Net income per share 










 Basic 


$          1.10


$       0.45


$          2.37


$          1.55


 Diluted 


$          1.10


$       0.45


$          2.37


$          1.55

 

 

 NOBLE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS 

 (In thousands) 

 (Unaudited) 










 September 30, 


 December 31, 




2013


2012

 ASSETS 





 Current assets 






 Cash and cash equivalents 


$              178,370


$             282,092


 Accounts receivable 


865,746


743,673


 Prepaid expenses and other current assets 


330,887


279,560

 Total current assets 


1,375,003


1,305,325







 Property and equipment 


18,606,931


16,971,666


 Accumulated depreciation 


(4,534,474)


(3,945,694)

 Property and equipment, net 


14,072,457


13,025,972







 Other assets 


281,871


276,477


 Total assets 


$         15,729,331


$        14,607,774







 LIABILITIES AND  EQUITY 





 Current liabilities 






 Accounts payable 


$              318,013


$             350,147


 Accrued payroll and related costs 


137,481


132,728


 Dividend payable 


192,352


66,369


 Other current liabilities 


336,740


362,205

 Total current liabilities 


984,586


911,449







 Long-term debt 


5,307,838


4,634,375

 Deferred income taxes 


187,648


226,045

 Other liabilities 


392,443


347,615


 Total liabilities 


6,872,515


6,119,484







 Commitments and contingencies 











 Equity 






 Total shareholders' equity 


8,108,559


7,723,166


 Noncontrolling interests 


748,257


765,124


 Total equity 


8,856,816


8,488,290


 Total liabilities and equity 


$         15,729,331


$        14,607,774

 

 

 NOBLE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS 

 (In thousands) 

 (Unaudited) 




Nine Months Ended




September 30,




2013


2012

 Cash flows from operating activities 






 Net income 


$   661,498


$   421,698


 Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash from operating activities: 





 Depreciation and amortization 


642,456


549,779


 Loss on impairment 


3,585


18,345


 Gain on disposal of assets, net 


(35,646)


-


 Other changes in operating activities 


(110,239)


(58,318)


   Net cash from operating activities 


1,161,654


931,504







 Cash flows from investing activities 






 New construction 


(1,021,780)


(440,520)


 Major projects 


(442,289)


(548,466)


 Other capital expenditures 


(168,206)


(149,933)


 Capitalized interest 


(92,452)


(108,220)


 Proceeds from disposal of assets 


61,000


-


 Other investing activities 


(66,946)


(195,044)


  Net cash from investing activities 


(1,730,673)


(1,442,183)







 Cash flows from financing activities 






 Net change in borrowings on bank credit facilities  


973,055


(630,000)


 Repayment of long-term debt 


(300,000)


-


 Proceeds from issuance of senior notes, net of debt issuance costs 


-


1,186,636


 Contributions from joint venture partners 


-


40,000


 Dividends paid to joint venture partners 


(69,728)


-


 Dividends/Par value reduction payments paid to shareholders 


(130,787)


(105,092)


 Other financing activities 


(7,243)


(1,594)


 Net cash from financing activities 


465,297


489,950


 Net change in cash and cash equivalents 


(103,722)


(20,729)

 Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 


282,092


239,196

 Cash and cash equivalents, end of period 


$   178,370


$   218,467

 

 

 NOBLE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL INFORMATION BY SEGMENT 

 (In thousands, except operating statistics) 

 (Unaudited) 






















Three Months Ended September 30,


Three Months Ended June 30,



2013


2012


2013



Contract






Contract






Contract







Drilling






Drilling






Drilling







Services


Other


Total


Services


Other


Total


Services


Other


Total

 Operating revenues 



















 Contract drilling services 


$ 1,041,118


$           -


$ 1,041,118


$ 833,212


$           -


$ 833,212


$    975,455


$           -


$    975,455

 Reimbursables 


28,840


402


29,242


27,087


1,050


28,137


28,000


260


28,260

 Labor contract drilling services 


-


8,493


8,493


-


22,667


22,667


-


13,603


13,603

 Other 


28


-


28


16


-


16


67


-


67



$ 1,069,986


$   8,895


$ 1,078,881


$ 860,315


$ 23,717


$ 884,032


$ 1,003,522


$ 13,863


$ 1,017,385




















 Operating costs and expenses 



















 Contract drilling services 


$    488,250


$           -


$    488,250


$ 449,125


$           -


$ 449,125


$    491,983


$           -


$    491,983

 Reimbursables 


23,281


390


23,671


20,039


1,008


21,047


22,469


232


22,701

 Labor contract drilling services 


-


8,153


8,153


-


12,991


12,991


-


9,402


9,402

 Depreciation and amortization 


219,695


4,016


223,711


191,638


3,449


195,087


209,082


3,507


212,589

 Selling, general and administrative 


33,346


430


33,776


26,228


630


26,858


26,378


472


26,850

 Loss on impairment 


3,585


-


3,585


-


-


-


-


-


-

 Gain on disposal of assets, net 


(35,646)


-


(35,646)


-


-


-


-


-


-

 Gain on contract settlements/extinguishments, net 


(45,000)


-


(45,000)


-


-


-


-


-


-



$    687,511


$ 12,989


$    700,500


$ 687,030


$ 18,078


$ 705,108


$    749,912


$ 13,613


$    763,525




















 Operating income 


$    382,475


$ (4,094)


$    378,381


$ 173,285


$   5,639


$ 178,924


$    253,610


$      250


$    253,860




















 Operating statistics 



















 Jackups: 



















   Average Rig Utilization 


94%






83%






92%





   Operating Days 


3,635






3,285






3,594





   Average Dayrate 


$    112,414






$   97,857






$    116,266
























 Semisubmersibles: 



















   Average Rig Utilization 


79%






83%






76%





   Operating Days 


1,012






1,067






970





   Average Dayrate 


$    380,048






$ 331,900






$    370,117
























 Drillships: 



















   Average Rig Utilization 


79%






73%






78%





   Operating Days 


702






590






637





   Average Dayrate 


$    353,278






$ 267,166






$    311,490
























 FPSO/Submersibles: 



















   Average Rig Utilization 


0%






0%






0%





   Operating Days 


-






-






-





   Average Dayrate 


$              -






$           -






$              -
























 Total: 



















   Average Rig Utilization 


85%






78%






83%





   Operating Days 


5,349






4,942






5,201





   Average Dayrate 


$    194,645






$ 168,608






$    187,537





 

 

 

 NOBLE CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES 

 CALCULATION OF BASIC AND DILUTED NET INCOME PER SHARE 

 (In thousands, except per share amounts) 

 (Unaudited) 










 The following table sets forth the computation of basic and diluted net income per share: 












 Three months ended 


 Nine months ended 



September 30,


September 30,



2013


2012


2013


2012

 Allocation of net income 









 Basic 









   Net income attributable to Noble Corporation 


$    281,957


$    114,774


$    608,637


$    394,767

   Earnings allocated to unvested share-based payment awards 


(3,393)


(1,192)


(7,191)


(4,008)

     Net income to common shareholders - basic 


$    278,564


$    113,582


$    601,446


$    390,759










 Diluted 









   Net income attributable to Noble Corporation 


$    281,957


$    114,774


$    608,637


$    394,767

   Earnings allocated to unvested share-based payment awards 


(3,390)


(1,190)


(7,184)


(4,002)

     Net income to common shareholders - diluted 


$    278,567


$    113,584


$    601,453


$    390,765










 Weighted average number of  shares outstanding - basic 


253,357


252,657


253,242


252,339

    Incremental shares issuable from assumed exercise of stock options 


261


317


265


385

 Weighted average number of  shares outstanding - diluted 


253,618


252,974


253,507


252,724










 Weighted average unvested share-based payment awards 


3,086


2,651


3,028


2,588










 Earnings per share 









 Basic 


$          1.10


$          0.45


$          2.37


$          1.55

 Diluted 


$          1.10


$          0.45


$          2.37


$          1.55

 

 

 

SOURCE Noble Corporation



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