Well my favorite was Quoth the Raven regarding QCOR. He kept shorting and doing hatchet jobs. He lost a lot of money and deservedly so. This PrudentInvestor pulled this regarding LINE/BBEP. And now SDRL. Why in the world would I listen to him? He did a cursory financial analysis and came to a reckless conclusion. Management said they were going to keep divy at .98. Why would they up it to $1 if they didn't think it covered?
If you don't want to buy that is fine but you would be crazy to short this since those divies come out of the shorter's pockets, unless you are just using a put spread. Then time decay works against you.
Increasing the dividend is a poor cash management decision for the company; the only massive beneficiary is the majority holder of the stock who has already taken out billions more than he ever put in and could probably care less whether the company makes it so long as he squeezes out as much as possible before insolvency. He can then use the money the company borrowed and paid to him in dividends to buy its assets in a workout.
I agree to the extend it is overkill at this point. Anything above .80 would be fine with me but I'm not a billionaire as JF. As you probably know, no dividend withholding taxes for JF. This keeps him holding a large chunk of shares. The flip side would be for him to suggest a low payout ratio and reduce their debt rapidly so he can sell off shares when the share price appreciates. It doesn't make sense for him. The rig building will cease and the balance sheet will improve over time. In the event someone wants to own a JF controlled entity, you should agree with his style of management. There are other options in this space but ESV is the only one I like. I don't believe RIG or ESV have been outperforming SDRL over the last few years. They're actually trying to mimic SDRL with newer rigs and higher payout ratios.