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Transocean Sedco Beats Lowered Estimates

Transocean Sedco Forex

(RIG) - Get Transocean Ltd. Report

said Monday it beat Wall Street's lowered earnings estimates for the fourth quarter, before a $42.2 million charge.

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The contract drilling company said it earned $33 million, or 16 cents a share for the quarter. Twenty-four analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were calling for the company to earn 12 cents in the quarter.

The company posted a loss of $12.4 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-ago period, but the results aren't directly comparable. Sedco Forex and Transocean Offshore merged in December 1999 and the year-ago totals only reflect the historical results of Sedco Forex and exclude those of Transocean Offshore.

The company said it incurred a charge of $42.2 million, principally stemming from the settlement of a terminated charter agreement. After the charge, the company lost $9.2 million, or 4 cents a diluted share.