Noble Corp. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Revenue Up, Profit Up

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) reported higher profit for the third quarter as revenue showed growth. Noble is a contract driller of oil and natural gas wells. It provides customers in the oil and gas industry with offshore drilling services and engineering and consulting services.

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Noble Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Net income for the oil and gas drilling and exploration company rose to $135.3 million (53 cents per share) vs. $86 million (34 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 57.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 20.5% to $737.9 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: NE fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 55 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $758.5 million.

Quoting Management: David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, noted, “The third quarter was highlighted by a number of accomplishments that further advance the strategic transformation of our fleet. Options for two additional JU3000N design high specification jackup rigs were exercised, bringing the total number of these units to six currently under construction. Additionally, we ordered a fourth ultra-deepwater drillship from Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., increasing the total number of new, dynamically positioned drillships being added to our fleet to eight. Furthermore, this quarter our ongoing projects have achieved several milestones including the delivery of the drillship Noble Bully I, which is now in transit to the Gulf of Mexico. The drillship, Noble Bully II, has departed the dock to begin sea trials and the Noble Globetrotter I is undergoing the installation of topsides and commissioning.”

Key Stats:

Last quarter’s profit increase breaks a streak of four consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit drops. In the second quarter, net income fell 75.2% from the year earlier, while the figure fell 85.3% in the first quarter, 77.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 79.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

A year-over-year revenue increase last quarter snaps a streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue declines. The worst quarter in that span was the third quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw a 32.4% decrease.

The company has now fallen short of analyst estimates for the last three quarters. It missed the mark by 10 cents in the second quarter and by 2 cents in the first quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the fourth quarter has moved down from 79 cents a share to 73 cents over the last ninety days. At $1.60 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $1.85 ninety days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE:DO), Pride International, Inc. (NYSE:PDE), Hercules Offshore, Inc. (NASDAQ:HERO), ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV), Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW), Vantage Drilling Company (AMEX:VTG), Seahawk Drilling, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAWK), and Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:RDC).

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(Source: Xignite Financials)