Ensco's 3Q06 Net Income Nearly Triples



ENSCO International Incorporated (NYSE:ESV) reported that net income nearly tripled in the quarter ended September 30, 2006, to $214.8 million ($1.40 per diluted share) on revenues of $489.9 million, as compared to net income of $74.3 million ($0.49 per diluted share) on revenues of $275.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2005.

Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2006 was $559.3 million ($3.64 per diluted share) on revenues of $1,353.8 million, compared to net income of $181.3 million ($1.19 per diluted share) on revenues of $732.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2005.

The average day rate for ENSCO's operating jackup rig fleet for the quarter ended September 30, 2006, increased by 57% to $119,400 as compared to $76,000 in the prior year quarter. Utilization of the Company's jackup fleet increased to 97% in the most recent quarter, as compared to 85% in the quarter ended September 30, 2005.

The Company also reported that it repurchased 1,250,000 shares of its common stock during the third quarter of 2006 at an average price of $43.54 per share as part of a $500 million share repurchase authorization approved by the Company's Board of Directors late in the first quarter of 2006. Under the program, ENSCO has repurchased a total of 2,345,000 shares at an average price of $45.49 per share through the third quarter.

Carl Thorne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ENSCO, commented on the Company's current results and outlook: "We are pleased to announce our fourth consecutive record quarter. International markets remain strong. Increases in jackup day rates from second quarter levels in both our Europe/Africa and Asia Pacific Business Units more than offset slightly lower rates for our jackup rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. The average day rate for our worldwide jackup fleet in the third quarter increased sequentially by 3% over the prior quarter.

"ENSCO 83, one of our 250' water depth capable Gulf of Mexico jackups rigs, entered a shipyard in August for enhancement work and final international outfitting. We expect to complete this upgrade project in March 2007. We do not have any other rig enhancement projects scheduled at this time. Our rig fleet enhancement and life extension activities over the last several years are starting to pay dividends. We expect to incur minimal near-term shipyard downtime during a period when associated opportunity cost will be significant.

"Our new rig construction projects remain on schedule and within budget, with three of the four rigs committed upon completion. Our new ultra-high specification jackup rig, ENSCO 108, is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2007. The rig is committed for work in Indonesia following delivery. ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501, two ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs, are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, respectively. Both rigs are being built against firm multi-year contracts. We recently announced construction of our third 8500 Series(TM) ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig, ENSCO 8502, which is scheduled for delivery in late 2009. We are in discussions with several prospective customers regarding a contract for the rig.

"While we experienced an interruption in the positive trend of our Gulf of Mexico jackup rates during the summer, we attribute this softness largely to the impact of hurricane season. We continue to remain confident in this market. As reported in our monthly rig status report, we have already contracted two of our Gulf of Mexico jackups for work next year at day rates at or above pre-hurricane season levels.

"International markets remain strong, and continue to be undersupplied. Approximately one dozen jackup rigs, including ENSCO 105, are scheduled to depart the Gulf of Mexico for international commitments by early next year, and additional departures are possible. Two-thirds of our jackup fleet will be located internationally upon delivery of ENSCO 108 in the second quarter of 2007.

"Our third quarter results were excellent, notwithstanding recent softening of rates in the Gulf of Mexico market. We had good momentum going into the third quarter and therefore did not experience the full quarter effect from the softening in this market. Accordingly, we currently anticipate that fourth quarter results will decrease slightly from third quarter levels. We expect this to be a one-quarter adjustment inasmuch as previously contracted day rate increases in respect of a number of our Europe/Africa and Asia Pacific jackup rigs become effective during the first quarter of 2007. We thus anticipate a significant sequential improvement in our first quarter 2007 results and another record year in 2007."

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