Operating expenses decreased from $29.1 million in the 3rd quarter to $28.0 million in the 4th quarter. Net Income for the 4th quarter was $14.6 million, up from $1.0 million in the 3rd quarter.
Ocean Rig continued to buy back shares according to the announced program for return of capital. At the October 31, 2006 Extraordinary General Meeting the shareholders approved cancellation of 15,981,500 shares held by the Company and authorized repurchase of 10% of the remaining outstanding shares.
Between January 13, 2006 and December 31, 2006, the Company has returned $ 140 million of capital through repurchase of 21,430,500 shares, representing 11.3% of the outstanding shares at the beginning of the repurchase program.
The Chairman of the Board, Geir Aune said: "The market continues to be very strong for our segment of the industry. Based on indicated shortage of capacity in the ultra-deepwater market during the next few years, we expect to enter into new contracts with an attractive combination of day rates and duration."
Ocean Rig owns and operates two of the world's largest and most modern drilling rigs, built for ultra deep waters and extreme weather conditions. The units are currently operating offshore Angola and Canada.
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