Rowan Companies Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Rowan Companies (RDC)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 02, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Suzanne M. Spera - Director of Investor Relations

W. Matt Ralls - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Chairman of Executive Committee

Mark A. Keller - Executive Vice President of Business Development

William H. Wells - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Analysts

Joe Hill - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

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

David Wilson - Howard Weil Incorporated, Research Division

Scott Gruber - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Ian Macpherson - Simmons & Company International, Research Division

Kurt Hallead - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Andrea Sharkey - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Anders Bergland - RS Platou Markets AS, Research Division

Robin E. Shoemaker - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the Rowan Companies' Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Suzanne Spera, Director of Investor Relations for Rowan Companies. Thank you, Suzanne. You may begin.

Suzanne M. Spera

Thank you, Robin, and good morning. Welcome to Rowan's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call.

Joining me on this morning are Matt Ralls, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mark Keller, Executive Vice President, Business Development; and Bill Wells, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, who will have prepared comments. Also in the room to respond to questions are Chief Operating Officer Tom Burke and Executive Vice President Kevin Bartolo.

Before Matt begins his remarks, I'd like to remind you that during the course of this conference call, forward-looking statements may be made within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements about the change in corporate structure, as well as statements as to the expectations, beliefs and future expected financial performance of the company that are based on current expectations and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected by the company. Other relevant factors have been and will be disclosed in the company's filings with the SEC.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Matt.

W. Matt Ralls

Thanks, Suzanne, and good morning, everyone. I'll be brief this morning before turning the call over to Mark Keller to update you on our marketing efforts and then to Bill Wells for his comments on our financial results and some guidance for the balance of the year.

This morning, we announced results for the second quarter that were slightly ahead of consensus, excluding some onetime charges and gains. More importantly, we released a fleet status report on Tuesday reflecting a very attractive 3-year contract for the first of our 3 ultra-deepwater drillships under construction in Korea. Mark will provide contract details in his comments, but it's worth noting that this commitment increases our total contract backlog to $4 billion, a new high watermark for Rowan.

We are encouraged, though not surprised, by the interest we're getting in these very high-specification rigs from operators and remain optimistic about our ability to obtain attractive commitments for the other 2 drillships in the coming months. We also received an extension from Hyundai Heavy Industries for our option to build a fourth drillship. We now have until early September to exercise that option at a price substantially similar to what we are paying for the third rig. In the meantime, we continue to see good demand in upward pricing pressure in the high-spec jack-up markets around the world.

I'll now turn it over to Mark to give you more details on these developments.

Mark A. Keller

Thanks, Matt, and good morning, everyone. After months of anticipation, we are proud to announce the commitment of our first ultra-deepwater drillship, the Rowan Renaissance. We received the binding letter of intent from Repsol for a 3-year global term commencing in the first quarter of 2014.

Immediately after delivery in South Korea in late 2013, the drillship is expected to mobilize to West Africa for the first year of its commitment at an effective day rate of up to $624,000 per day. Repsol currently plans to move the Renaissance to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for the remaining 2 years, at which point, the effective day rate will be $614,000 per day. We look forward to our partnership with Repsol for this important milestone in Rowan's history.

We continue to see significant strength in the ultra-deepwater drillship market, albeit 2 of the 84 drillships currently in service were contracted at 98% utilization worldwide. Through our internal analysis of expected newbuild units, we anticipate that all 68 drillships will be committed upon delivery based on those already contracted and identified demand.

We believe the market is ready to absorb additional ultra-deepwater units. We are currently tracking active requirements for 23 ultra-deepwater drillships, including several outstanding proposals. While we continue to monitor projects in the frontier regions of the world, the focus of recent tender activity has been the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and West Africa. We will keep you updated on our progress in securing additional commitments for ultra-deepwater fleet.

Turning to the jack-up market. According to IHS Petrodata, there are currently 473 jack-ups worldwide. Demand is currently 391 rigs with total utilization at 83% and marketed utilization at 93%. We have not seen utilization numbers this high since February 2009. And day rate averages among our peer group are up almost $4,000 per day over last quarter, and tender activity remains strong. Considering submitted tenders in Far East, Bizen House [ph] and anticipated projects, we currently see international jack-up demand for 35 units, driven primarily by Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the North Sea markets.

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