In investing, there's always another angle.
The re-election of Barack Obama was supposed to be bad news for offshore oil drilling, or at least as not as favorable as a Mitt Romney victory.
Yet, if most of a company's drilling is not near North America, then the political concerns lessen.
United Kingdom-basedEnsco ( ESV ) is such a company. In the nine months through September, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico accounted for 28% of revenue. Brazil was the second-highest concentration, at 25%. The remaining 47% involved countries with revenue concentrations of less than 10%.
As of Q3, the company owned and operated 75 offshore drilling rigs, including three ultra-deep-water drillships that are the newest in the industry.
Brazil's government is expected to conduct a new round of block auctions in mid-2013, which could provide a deep-water opportunity for Ensco and further dilute its U.S. exposure. Deep-water drilling also is expected to increase in French Guiana. Additional opportunities are expected to emerge off Mexico, Southeast Asia and Australia.
If demand outstrips supply, which is possible, that will help Ensco's contract drilling prices.
The company also operates in the midwater and jackup spaces. Jackup involves less-expensive rigs that operate in shallow waters.
Deep-water activity was strong in Q3, helped by oil prices in a range of $85 to $100 a barrel.
Earnings in Q3 jumped 66% vs. the year-ago period as revenue expanded 23%.
The increase in revenue and earnings was largely due to increases in utilization and day rates in the deep-water and jackup segments. Midwater showed declines.
Revenue growth was in triple digits in the second half of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. The big gains were partly due to the completion in May 2011 of a merger with Pride International.
Ensco pays a quarterly dividend of 37 cents a share, which yields 2.6% on an annualized basis. Ensco began paying a quarterly dividend of 25 cents a share in 1997 and has raised it only twice . Funds raised their exposure in Ensco 47% in Q3 after cutting it 27% in Q2.