NEW YORK (AP) — Offshore drilling rig contractor Transocean Ltd. said Monday that its third-quarter loss ballooned to $381 million, hurt by hefty charges largely stemming from its plan to exit the shallow water rig market.
Transocean, which is based in Zug, Switzerland, and has major operations in Houston, owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, leading to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The company owns or has a stake in a fleet of 115 mobile offshore drilling units
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Transocean's loss amounted to $1.06 per share and compared with a loss of $32 million, or 10 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
The majority of the charges were related to the company's plan to exit the standard jackup market. Jackup rigs typically stand on the ocean floor in relatively shallow waters.
In September, the company said it would sell 38 of its shallow water rigs for about $855 million in cash. The majority of Transocean's revenue is generated by its ultra-deepwater high-specification fleet so the company is focusing on developing that business.
Excluding one-time items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit from continuing operations of $499 million, or $1.37 per share.
Revenue rose 23 percent to $2.44 billion from $1.99 billion, as contract drilling revenue increased 26 percent to $2.31 billion.
The adjusted earnings beat Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell short. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 76 cents per share on $2.53 billion in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.
Its shares rose $1.56, or 3.4 percent, to $47.62 in premarket trading. Its shares are down 19 percent from their 52-week high of $59.03 set on mid-March. They traded as low as $38.21 near the end of 2011.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
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