A Look At Ensco International

By Eric Fox | July 14, 2011 AAA

Ensco International (NYSE:ESV) has a large fleet of offshore rigs and is set to add to that fleet over the next few years as the company's new build program continues. The company is confident in future demand for its equipment and recently ordered the construction of two new premium jack up rigs.

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Fleet Overview
Ensco International owns the second largest fleet of offshore rigs, with 76 units. This includes seven drill ships, 20 semi-submersibles and 49 jack up rigs, with some currently under construction. Ensco International increased the size of its fleet earlier this year through a merger with Pride International. The merger closed at the end of May 2011, and Ensco International added 26 rigs to its fleet.

First Quarter of 2011
Ensco International reported earnings per share from continuing operations of 45 cents per share in the first quarter of 2011, down considerably from the $1.12 per share reported in the same quarter of 2010. Rig utilization came in at 72% for the quarter, also down from last year's rate of 80%.

Despite the unused capacity in the market, Ensco International is optimistic about future demand. The company ordered two new jackups rigs during the first quarter of 2011. The rigs will be suitable for drilling in harsh environments, including parts of the North Sea, and will be ready in 2013.

Newbuild Program
Ensco International has been engaged in building new rigs for years, with 13 rigs delivered since 2004. The company has seven more under construction, including the two harsh environment jack up rigs ordered during the most recent quarter. These seven rigs are set to be completed and delivered from 2011 through 2013.

Only one of the seven rigs under construction is currently contracted as of May 2011. Ensco International reported that the Ensco 8504, an ultra deepwater semi submersible, is set to start work for Total (NYSE:TOT) for six months at a day rate of $423,500 per day.

Other Players
Other offshore drillers include Vantage Drilling (NYSE:VTG), which owns six rigs, including four jack ups and two drill ships. The company has contracts on five of these rigs, with the sixth under construction.

Atwood Oceanic (NYSE:ATW) owns more than a dozen offshore rigs, and recently contracted one of the company's rigs to BHP Billiton Petroleum (NYSE:BHP) at an initial day rate of $376,000 per day.

Bottom Line
Ensco International has the second largest offshore fleet and is getting even bigger through a multiyear new build program. The company expressed confidence in future offshore activity by adding two jack up rigs to this program in early 2011. (So you've finally decided to start investing. But what should you put in your portfolio? Find out here. See How To Pick A Stock.)

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