UPDATE 1-Ensco International Q4 earnings up on higher dayrates

martes 26 de febrero de 2008 16:47 CET

(Recasts, adds details)

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Offshore driller Ensco International Inc (ESV.N: Cotización) reported a 13 percent increase in quarterly profit, beating Wall Street estimates significantly, helped by higher dayrates for its rigs. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $238.6 million, or $1.66 a share, up from $210.4 million, or $1.39 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Operating revenue rose more than 12 percent to $529.2 million.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.55 a share, before special items, on revenue of $518.5 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Dayrates for the company's rigs averaged $140,755 per day during the quarter, up from $116,780 a year ago.

However, utilization rates for the company's rigs fell to 89 percent from 96 percent a year ago.

Lower quarterly utilization rate was mainly due to reduced activity for the company's Gulf of Mexico jackup rigs and downtime attributable to the relocation of a jackup rig to the North Sea from West Africa, the company said in a statement. Jackup rigs are supported on the sea floor by legs and drill in shallower waters.

Shares of the company were up 2.68 percent at $59.75 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Hezron Selvi in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)