NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The offshore drilling market has been struggling with overcapacity and falling crude oil prices, but Atwood Oceanics (ATW) is a rare gem that could see double-digit revenue growth.
In an email to TheStreet, Mark Mey, Atwood's chief financial officer said the offshore driller is one of only two expected to grow revenue and earnings per share into 2016. Mey didn't mention the name of the other driller, but it's likely Houston-based Rowan Companies (RDC) , which has forecast revenue growth for 2015. Goldman Sachs analyst Waqar Syed said in a November report that this will lead to higher earnings for Rowan.
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Atwood has been generating higher revenue and profit at average annual rates of about 14% and 6%, respectively, for the last six years.
In a Nov. 10 report, Global Hunter Securities analyst Mark Brown said Atwood could increase its revenue to $1.6 billion by fiscal year 2016 and its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to $769 million. That would mean about 40% growth from fiscal year 2014 for both numbers.
Offshore drillers are facing a challenging combination of overcapacity and falling oil prices. Atwood estimates the industry could see the addition of more than 80 floater and jack-up rigs in the next year. A prolonged weakness in crude oil prices could have an adverse impact on offshore drilling activity.
The Houston-based offshore driller is undeterred, however. Atwood recently started paying quarterly dividends of 25 cents per share. Last week, during the fourth-quarter conference call, Atwood's CEO Rob Saltiel said the company aims to grow dividends in the future, after forecasting a 10% increase in dividend distributions each year in September. This is in stark contrast to other offshore drillers such as Seadrill (SDRL) and Diamond Offshore (DO) that could lower the dividend payments in the future.
Mey explained that the company started its fleet transformation strategy back in 2010 by investing $4.5 billion in six floaters that can be used for drilling in ultra-deep-water and three jack-ups that are used in shallower water. Consequently, the company's fleet of 14 rigs now largely consists of modern and young units that can generate better day rates compared with older rigs.