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Tight Ultra Deepwater Rig Supply Benefits Transocean, Wells Fargo Says In Upgrade

Shanthi Rexaline

Offshore drilling companies are benefiting from increasing demand as well as the tighter availability of high-specification, ultra-deepwater rigs, according to Wells Fargo Securities.

The Analyst

Analyst Judson Bailey upgraded shares of Transocean LTD (NYSE: RIG) from Market Perform to Outperform and increased the price target from $13 to $16.

The Thesis

Due to the rising demand, tighter supply and the daily costs of renting a drilling rig, the market value of UDW rigs is increasing, Bailey said in the Wednesday upgrade note. (See his track record here.) 

UDW dayrates are likely to increase faster than originally projected by Wells Fargo, potentially peaking in the $250,000 to $300,000 range at some point in 2020, the analyst said.  

Wells Fargo substantially increased its EBITDA and NAV estimates across the offshore drilling universe.

Bailey attributes the revised top-notch rating for Transocean to the company's deepwater leverage.

The sell-side firm's 2019-2020 EBITDA estimates for the company were moved higher by 10-20 percent due to increased jack-up and dayrate assumptions, Bailey said. 

Wells Fargo's expectations for a multiyear recovery for drilling companies remain intact for both the jack-up and floater segments, with greater upside to dayrates likely in both markets, the analyst said. 

The Price Action

Transocean shares have gained about 12 percent year-to-date. The stock was up 3.9 percent at $12.40 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

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Photo by TheConduqtor/Wikimedia. 

Latest Ratings for RIG

Date Firm Action From To
Sep 2018 RBC Capital Upgrades Sector Perform Outperform
Sep 2018 Morgan Stanley Initiates Coverage On Overweight
Sep 2018 Wells Fargo Upgrades Market Perform Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for RIG
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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