Valaris reports first quarter 2024 results

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Valaris Limited reported first quarter 2024 results.

President and Chief Executive Officer Anton Dibowitz said, “I am very pleased with our start to 2024 as we delivered strong safety and operational performance during the first quarter as evidenced by fleetwide revenue efficiency of 97%. Our financial results also benefited from more operating days for our most recent drillship reactivation, VALARIS DS-8. In addition, we were awarded new contracts and extensions with associated contract backlog of more than $520 million, including a multi-year contract offshore Angola for VALARIS 144 at a leading-edge day rate for a benign environment jackup.”

Dibowitz added, “We remain laser-focused on securing work for the remaining available days across our fleet in 2024 and preparing VALARIS DS-7 for its expected contract startup in the second quarter. We have an industry-leading track record of executing reactivation projects and look forward to the completion of another successful startup.”

Dibowitz concluded, “We continue executing our growth strategy by securing new contracts at significantly higher day rates and building our contract backlog, which has increased over each of the past six consecutive quarters. We see strong customer demand for work that is expected to commence in 2025 and 2026, highlighting the longevity of this upcycle. We are focused on securing attractive contracts that support our anticipated earnings and cash flow growth over the next few years and intend to return all future free cash flow to shareholders unless there is a better or more value accretive use for it.”

Financial and Operational Highlights

  • Net income of $26 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $54 million and Adjusted EBITDAR of $84 million;
  • Revenue efficiency of 97% during the quarter;
  • Strong safety performance, including no Lost Time Incidents (LTI) during the quarter;
  • Awarded new contracts and extensions with associated contract backlog of more than $520 million during the first quarter; and
  • Increased total contract backlog to more than $4.0 billion as of April 30, 2024, representing the sixth consecutive quarter of backlog growth and a 43% increase from twelve months ago.

First Quarter Review

Net income decreased to $26 million from $829 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Net income included tax expense of $13 million compared to a tax benefit of $790 million in the fourth quarter. Adjusted EBITDA decreased to $54 million from $58 million in the fourth quarter primarily due to idle time for several jackups that were undergoing contract preparations and special periodic surveys in the first quarter, partially offset by more operating days for the floater fleet. Adjusted EBITDAR decreased to $84 million from $96 million in the fourth quarter.

Revenues increased to $525 million from $484 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Excluding reimbursable items, revenues increased to $491 million from $453 million in the fourth quarter primarily due to VALARIS DS-8, which commenced a contract in late December following its reactivation, and higher revenue efficiency across the floater fleet in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter. This was partially offset by fewer operating days for the jackup fleet, with several rigs experiencing idle time for contract preparations and special periodic surveys prior to the start of their next contracts.

Contract drilling expense increased to $445 million from $402 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Excluding reimbursable items, contract drilling expense increased to $414 million from $374 million in the fourth quarter. The increase was primarily due to more operating days for the floater fleet and higher repair and maintenance expense.

Depreciation expense of $27 million was in line with the fourth quarter 2023. General and administrative expense increased to $27 million from $24 million in the fourth quarter 2023 primarily due to higher compensation costs and professional fees.

Other income increased to $9 million from $0 million in the fourth quarter 2023 primarily due to foreign currency exchange gains compared to losses in the prior quarter.

Tax expense of $13 million compared to a tax benefit of $790 million in the fourth quarter 2023 primarily due to an $800 million deferred tax benefit recognized in the fourth quarter 2023 related to a reduction in the valuation allowance on certain deferred tax assets.

Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash decreased to $509 million as of March 31, 2024, from $636 million as of December 31, 2023. The decrease was primarily due to capital expenditures, partially offset by positive operating cash flow.

Capital expenditures of $151 million declined from $463 million in the fourth quarter 2023 due to the Company exercising options to take delivery of newbuild drillships VALARIS DS-13 and DS-14 for an aggregate purchase price of $337 million during the fourth quarter.

First Quarter Segment Review

Floaters

Floater revenues increased to $324 million from $263 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Excluding reimbursable items, revenues increased to $310 million from $247 million in the fourth quarter. The increase was primarily due to VALARIS DS-8, which commenced a contract in late December following its reactivation, and higher revenue efficiency across the floater fleet in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter.

Contract drilling expense increased to $253 million from $226 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Excluding reimbursable items, contract drilling expense increased to $240 million from $211 million in the fourth quarter. The increase was primarily due to more operating days and higher costs associated with planned repairs and maintenance.

Jackups

Jackup revenues decreased to $152 million from $179 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Excluding reimbursable items, revenues decreased to $139 million from $170 million in the fourth quarter primarily due to fewer operating days, with several rigs experiencing idle time for contract preparations and special periodic surveys prior to the start of their next contracts.

Contract drilling expense increased to $134 million from $123 million in the fourth quarter 2023. Excluding reimbursable items, contract drilling expense increased to $122 million from $115 million in the fourth quarter primarily due to higher repair and maintenance expense associated with contract preparations and special periodic surveys.

ARO Drilling

Revenues increased to $138 million from $134 million in the fourth quarter 2023 primarily due to a full quarter of operations for newbuild jackup Kingdom 1, which commenced its maiden contract during the fourth quarter. This was partially offset by fewer operating days for the rest of the fleet due to more out of service days for planned maintenance in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter. Contract drilling expense increased to $98 million from $88 million in the fourth quarter primarily due to higher bareboat charter expense for leased rigs and higher repair costs associated with planned maintenance in the first quarter.