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Noble Corp (NE) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Increase Y/Y

Leading contract driller Noble Corporation 's NE fourth-quarter 2015 earnings of 52 cents per share came in below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents. The bottom line, however, improved from the year-ago quarter earnings of 47 cents per share.

Total revenue in the quarter rose to $857.7 million from $804.7 million in the comparable quarter last year. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $753.0 million. Contract Drilling Services contributed $837.1 million to total revenue, which reflects a year-over-year increase of 6.3%.

Full-year 2015 earnings of $2.59 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.75 but were higher than the year-ago earnings of $2.22 per share.

Total revenue for 2015 increased to $3,352.5 million from $3,232.5 million in 2014. It also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,132.0 million.

Fourth-Quarter Operating Highlights

Net income from continuing operations was $126 million compared with $178 million in the third quarter of 2015. Total rig utilization increased to 83% from the year-earlier level of 82%. The overall average dayrate increased to $367,953 from $330,739 in the year-ago quarter.

The average dayrate for drillships of $672,972 was also substantially higher than $500,187 a year ago. Average capacity utilization, however, dipped to 99% from the year-ago level of 100%.

The average dayrate for the company's jackups was $145,283 compared with $184,482 in the year-ago quarter. Average capacity utilization fell to 82% from the year-ago level of 90%.

The average dayrate for semisubmersibles of $315,459 was lower than $352,515 a year ago. Average capacity utilization climbed to 67% from the year-ago level of 61%.

Backlog

Overall total backlog at the end of the quarter was approximately $6.9 billion compared with $8.1 billion as of Sep 30, 2015. As of Dec 31, 2015, 68% of the company's available rig operating days were committed for 2016, including 57% of floating rig days and 81% of jackup rig days.

Financials

At the end of the reported quarter, the company had a cash balance of $512.2 million and long-term debt of $4,188.9 million, with debt-to-capitalization ratio of 36.1% (as against 37% in the preceding quarter).

Zacks Rank

At present, Noble Corp. carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks from the same sector are Cheniere Energy Partners LP. CQP , Braskem S.A. BAK and Enviva Partners, LP EVA . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and appear more rewarding for the short term.

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BRASKEM SA (BAK): Free Stock Analysis Report

NOBLE CORP PLC (NE): Free Stock Analysis Report

CHENIERE ENERGY (CQP): Free Stock Analysis Report

ENVIVA PARTNERS (EVA): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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