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Update: Noble Corp. Has Solid Quarter, Takes Charge And Extends Revolver

On February 4, Noble Corp. (NE) announced fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations of $0.47/share, below consensus estimates of $0.49/share, below the $0.82/share earned in the previous year, and down from $0.49/share in the previous quarter (third quarter). The Company recorded a $713 million after-tax impairment charge ($745 million pre-tax) related to the retirement of three rigs (Noble Paul Wolff, Noble Driller and Noble Jim Thompson). Revenues of $805 were $3 million lower than estimates, $80 million higher than in the prior year and $24 million below the previous quarter. At the end of the quarter, debt represented 40% of capitalization, up from 37% in the preceding quarter, principally related to the asset impairment.

During the quarter, NE repurchased 4.8 million shares at an average price of $21.13 at a cost of $101 million and reported purchasing in January an additional 6.2 million shares at a cost of $100 million.… Read More …