NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Seadrill Partners (SDLP) are plummeting by 29.86% to $4.11 on heavy volume in late-afternoon trading on Tuesday, after the company announced that it will slash quarterly distribution to 10 cents from 25 cents. 

So far today, 6.77 million shares have traded hands vs. the average of 922,562 shares. 

Seadrill has to cut distribution to its common unit-holders because of the market conditions of the offshore drilling sector, the company said.

Specifically, the company is dealing with the cancellation of the West Capella drilling contract and the extended standby rate of West Capricorn, which brings in $316,000 per day, compared to the normal rate of $536,000 per day. 

The second quarter cash distribution will be paid on or about August 12. 

Based in London, Seadrill Partners operates and acquires offshore drilling rigs.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate SEADRILL PARTNERS LLC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SDLP

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