Hercules Offshore Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Hercules Offshore (HERO)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 27, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Son P. Vann - Vice President of Investor Relations & Planning

John T. Rynd - Chief Executive Officer, President and Executive Director

Stephen M. Butz - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Analysts

David Wilson - Howard Weil Incorporated, Research Division

Collin Gerry - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Haithum Nokta - Clarkson Capital Markets, Research Division

Rhett Carter - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Ian Macpherson - Simmons & Company International, Research Division

Nigel Browne - Macquarie Research

Matthew H. Beeby - Williams Financial Group, Inc., Research Division

Michael W. Urban - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Kathryn O'Connor - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Matthew D. Conlan - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Second Quarter 2012 Hercules Offshore, Inc. Earnings Conference Call. My name is Stephanie, and I'll be your coordinator today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the presentation over to Mr. Son Vann, Vice President of Investor Relations and Planning. Please proceed.

Son P. Vann

Thank you very much, Stephanie. Good morning, and welcome, everyone, to our second quarter 2012 earnings conference call. With me today are John Rynd, Chief Executive Officer and President; Stephen Butz, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; as well as the senior management team, including Troy Carson, Chief Accounting Officer.

This morning, we issued our second quarter results and filed an 8-K with the SEC. The press release is available on our website, herculesoffshore.com.

Following our usual format, John will begin the call with some broad remarks regarding our quarterly performance and current outlook. Stephen will follow with a more detailed financial discussion and provide cost guidance. We'll then open the call up for Q&A.

Before we begin, please note that our call will contain forward-looking statements. Except for statements of historical fact, all statements that address our outlook for 2012 and beyond, activities, events or developments that we expect, estimate, project, believe or anticipate may or will occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect expected results. Actual future results could differ materially from those described in such statements. You can obtain more information about these risks in our SEC filings, which can be found on our website, as well as SEC's website, sec.gov.

With that, it's my pleasure to turn the call over to John.

John T. Rynd

Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. This morning, we reported a second quarter 2012 adjusted net loss from continuing operations of $18.2 million or $0.12 per diluted share. This excludes a noncash impairment charge of $47.5 million on Hercules 185 and approximately $9.2 million of expenses related to our recent debt refinancing, the subsequent retirement of our term loan and the repurchase of a portion of our convertible notes. On an after-tax basis, these items totaled $0.23 per diluted share, which were just the results of our reported GAAP net loss from continuing operations of $0.35 per diluted share. In comparison, we reported a loss from continuing operations of $14.3 million or $0.11 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2011.

While the latest quarter contains a number of non-operating items that can make a review of our results challenging, a closer review of revenue and EBITDA show improvement in every segment compared to the first quarter 2012 levels.

Our domestic jackup business posted its fifth consecutive quarter of revenue growth, driven by higher dayrates in near full utilization. While crude prices have moderated since our last earnings call, let me be clear in saying that based on discussions with our customers, we have not sensed any pullback in drilling programs. In fact, our latest fleet status report issued last week provides confirmation of the continued strength in activity levels, as our domestic backlog grew by 20 days per jackup rig from the prior month and as that is an all-time high of approximately 6 months per rig of average backlog. Most of our marketed fleet is contracted through the end of this year, with over 1/4 of our rigs contracted well into 2013.

Recent contracts also carried longer terms. We are signing more fixtures that have 120 to 200-plus days of backlog per contract. This compares to the 30- to 90-day-term contracts that were more typical in past cycles. And we are in discussions right now with several operators seeking 4- to 6-month rig commitments.

Pricing continues to meet -- to move higher, albeit at a more gradual pace than we saw in late 2011, early 2012. Leading edge dayrates for our 200 mat-cantilever rigs have moved up by about $5,000 per day since our last earnings call to the mid-$70,000 range. Our 250 mat-cantilever rigs have risen to the high 80s. And the Hercules 300 and 350 have recently seen rate increases by $5,000 to $7,000 a day.

As we have said on many occasions, our ability to move rates and add backlog is a function of our customers' well economics. Our customers have shown an ability to make economics -- make the economics in the Gulf of Mexico shelf work even in this choppy environment.

Also keep in mind that while all prices have declined over the past 4 months, Louisiana light sweet crude didn't fall much below $90 and quickly rebounded to over $100 per barrel, which is where we're at today. And natural gas prices have increased to over $3 per MCF, with a forward rate showing continued improvement.

Availability of jackup rigs in the Gulf of Mexico remains extremely tight. Of the 39 marketed rigs in the region, 37 are under contract. The only rigs not under contract are the small workover rigs. Excluding these workover rigs, the 36 drilling-capable rigs have essentially been fully contracted since November 2011, and most are currently on contract through late 2012. We own half of these 36 rigs.

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