The oil services sector could be one of the cheapest sectors in the market right now. Many oil-service companies are now trading on earnings multiples less than half of the market average and two of the four oil and gas drillers in the S&P 500 are trading below the value of their assets.
This presents an opportunity for investment; a drilling company that is trading for less than the value of its net assets is a potential takeover target and value investment.
That said, a Foolish investor should never invest in a company because it is a takeover target — there should be a solid fundamental reason as well. The company also needs to know what it’s doing and be financially strong.
So, based on that here is the lowdown on three oil drillers, their fleets and financial positions.
The small one: Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW)
|Number of rigs and drill ships||16 + 3 under construction|
|Day rates||High: $584,000Low: $105,000
|Current contracts||Longest: May 2017Shortest: July 2013|
Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW) is by far the smallest operator out of these three drillers. However, the company still commands an average day rate of $305,000 per day for one of its 16 rigs and drill ships.
The length of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW)’s leasing contracts is currently mixed, but the majority have a shorter duration as the company has a client based of small oil and gas operators as well as diversified commodity company’s such as Glencore and BHP Billiton plc (ADR) (NYSE:BBL). Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) is Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW)’s largest client; apart from that most of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE:ATW)’s clients are smaller companies with short-duration contracts. This could be an issue for future revenue clarity as smaller oil and gas firms often run into financial trouble.
Medium sized: Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE:RDC)
|Number of rigs and drill ships||31 + 4 under construction|
|Day rates||High: $610,000Low: $80,000
|Current contracts||Longest: June 2017Shortest: June 2013|
|Key operators||ConocoPhillipsTotal UK
Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE:RDC) has 31 rigs of various descriptions with four high-spec jack-up drill ships on order, which when completed will be the company’s most expensive product, demanding day rates of $610,000.
Currently, the average day rate for Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE:RDC)’s rigs is $221,000 and the lowest is $80,000. Meanwhile, the longest lease that the company is currently locked into extends into 2017.
Unlike Atwood, the majority of Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE:RDC) clients are oil majors, which gives a certain amount of clarity and less speculation over the company’s future revenue due to the financial strength of these operators.
The big daddy: Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL)
|Number of rigs and drill ships||52|
|Day rates||High: $640,000Low: $65,000
|Current contracts||Longest: Nov 2020Shortest: June 2013|
The big daddy of the group is Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL)with three times as many rigs as Atwood. The average day rate for Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL)’s rigs is $350,000 and the company has the widest day-rate range of these three drillers, which allows it to appeal to both small and large customers.