Seadrill's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Seadrill Limited (SDRL)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 27, 2012 12:00 p.m. ET

Executives

Alf Thorkildsen - CEO and President

Rune Magnus Lundetræ - CFO and SVP

Robert Hingley-Wilson - CAO and SVP

Ragnvald Kavli – IR Manager

Analysts

Lukas Daul - Enskilda Securities ASA

Andreas Stubsrud – Pareto Securities

Robert Jensen - Platou Markets

Ryan Kauppila - Citigroup

Monroe Helm - Barrow Hanley

Julien Laurent - Natixis

Presentation

Operator

Good day and welcome to the second quarter 2012 earnings release conference call. Today’s conference is being recorded and at this time, I would like to turn the call over to your host today Mr. Ragnvald Kavli. Please go ahead sir.

Ragnvald Kavli

Thank you and welcome to our second quarter 2012 earnings conference call. Please note that this conference call also includes comments on the second quarter 2012 accounts for our majority owned OTC listed subsidiary North Atlantic Drilling Limited. The quarterly reports and other supporting materials are available on SEDAR.com and (indiscernible).

Together with me on this call, I have our CEO and President, Mr. Alf Thorkildsen and our CFO and Senior Vice President, Mr. Rune Magnus Lundetræ and Robert Hingley-Wilson, our Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. But before I give the words to Alf to give us an update and the status of our business, I’d like to remind everyone that during the course of this call, we may make certain forward looking statements regarding matters related to our business and company that are not based on historical facts. Please note that such statements in addition to other information discussed are given within the safe harbor provisions provided by the federal securities regulations. For future and more detailed description of other risks associated with our company and industry, please see our most recent annual reports on Form 20-F and other filings with the SEC.

That concludes the preliminary details. Now I will turn the call over to Alf. Please go ahead.

Alf Thorkildsen

Thank you, Ragnvald. Good morning and good afternoon to all of you and welcome to our second quarter 2012 conference call. I would like to start this presentation by going through the highlights in the second quarter. Thereafter I will proceed to discuss our view of the market outlook for each of our business segment before updating you on the contract status for our fleet, and I would end with some summarizing comments. Rune Magnus, our CFO will afterwards take you through our financial accounts and results in the first quarter which will also include comments to the results posted by North Atlantic Drilling to date. We will thereafter do a combined Q&A session for both the Seadrill and North Atlantic.

Highlights for the second quarter 2012. I am pleased to share with you another solid quarter with an EBITDA of some $634 million and net income of $554 million. The corresponding earnings per share was $1.12, positively impacted by an accounting gain of $169 million reported under all of our financial items related to the merger between SapuraCrest and Kencana Petroleum in Malaysia.

Our operational performance continues to be strong and our floaters achieved a marginally higher utilization of 95% compared to 94% in the preceding quarter. We have so far in the third quarter had approximately 90 days downtime in connection with equipment parts needed to be replaced on subsea BOPs. This issue has been addressed and resolved.

For our jack-ups that were in operation we achieved the economic utilization of 79% in the quarter. Our jack-up utilizations were adversely impacted by several rigs currently mobilizing and the mobilization has taken somewhat longer than anticipated. Our tender rigs continued to perform excellent with an economic utilization of 97% in the second quarter.

We have since our first-quarter report secured contracts and commitments totaling some $7.6 billion bringing our order backlog to a record high level of $20.3 billion. This reflects a very modern drilling fleet, strong operational track record, excellent customer relationship and the strong demand for offshore drilling services.

We’ve resolved to pay a cash dividend of $0.84 per share, up from $0.82 in the last quarter. This increase in dividend reflects our strong operational performance, our record high order backlog, the positive market outlook in the drilling industry and the strong support we received from the financing markets. Based on all the above, we are of the firm belief that the dividend level is sustainable in the long term.

Let me also share some brief comments on the performance of North Atlantic Drilling. North Atlantic delivered an excellent operational performance with an economic utilization of 99% resulting in the quarterly EBITDA of $156 million and earnings per share of $0.06.

The North Atlantic board resolved to maintain a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share. North Atlantic continued to deliver strong operational performance and we’re very encouraged about the future market prospects in the harsh environment area. And we are still fully committed to our aim of listing the company in the U.S. during the end of 2012.

A bit about the global operational footprint. During the quarter and also in the third quarter, several jack-up rigs have been in transit to new locations. The West Triton and West Resolute have been relocated from Asia-Pacific to the Middle East. The West Triton commenced operation last week and we expect the West Resolute to start operation mid-September, both commencing a three-year contract with KJO.

The West Vigilant was in the second quarter in transit from Trinidad and Tobago to Vietnam where we expect the rig to start up on a new contract shortly. Furthermore the West Defender has moved from Brazil to Brunei and during the yard stay underway before commencing a four-year contract with Shell. We will receive a 5% day rate (ph) during the mobilization period which will be capitalized and amortized over the contract period.

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