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Transocean Profit Sinks 18%; Stock Rises

Transocean posts an 18% drop in first quarter earnings, hurt by tax payments and write-downs.

Offshore drilling contractor


(RIG) - Get Transocean Ltd. Report

posted an 18% drop in first-quarter earnings, hurt by tax payments and write-downs.

During the quarter, income fell to $942 million, or $2.93 a share, from $1.15 billion, or $3.58, a year before. Revenues were up less than one percent at $3.12 billion.

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On Tuesday, the company said it is taking three jackups in Africa out of service.

Overall the sector has seen a slump in worldwide demand for jackup rigs due to lower oil and gas prices.

While the company has many near-term contracts, the market looks out more than a year. According to a report on on Tuesday, the deepwater drilling

sector has remained solid, but jackup and submersible rates depend on oil prices stabilizing at current levels or moving higher.

Shares in the company were up 3%, to $75.20, in early morning trading.

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