As long as oil prices stay low, yes, they can.
Even though oil prices have rebounded from their March lows, the Houston-based Diamond has had to drastically cut its capital expenses budgets to offset declining profits. At the same time, the company has had to end its special dividend, which has been paid to shareholders since July 2006. Since 2010 Diamond's 75-cent per share special dividend was one of the attractive qualities of the stock.
So while management has made a prudent move to retain cash to fund current operations and future projects, shareholders have had no choice but to exit their positions. At around $22, shares are down 39% for the year to date and 52% for the past 52 weeks.
Investors fear more oil pricing pressure. In the first quarter, for instance, revenue from Diamond's Contract Drilling segment fell 12.5% year over year to just under $600 million. At the same time, the company averaged dayrate of $205,794, down from $251,396 posted last year.
The dayrate metric is important because it reflects the amount of money Diamond gets paid based on the number of days its rigs stay in operation. The company makes more money if its entire fleet remains in operation each day. Conversely, it loses money if the fleet is idle for any extended period of time.
In this case, the segment's 12.5% decline, combined with a 5% reduction in its Deepwater floaters business underscores how the economics of Diamond's business, is suffering. Don't expect these metrics to improve Monday, especially with oil prices still causing the broader industry to cut back on spending.
For the quarter that ended June, the average analyst earning-per-share estimate is 47 cents a share on revenue of $604.75 million, translating to year-over-year declines of 10% and 12%, respectively. For the full year, ending in December, earnings-per-share of $1.99 would mark a 36% year-over-year decline, while revenue of $2.41 billion suggests a 14% year-over-year drop.
As dire as these projections would appear, things are going to get worse. Not only is full-year 2016 revenue projected to fall some 15%, but fiscal 2016 earnings-per-share of 28 cents would mark an almost 90% year-over-year decline from projected 2015 earnings of $1.99 a share.
In other words, Diamond will be in the rough for some time.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no position in the stocks mentioned.