Diamond Offshore Q4 Profit Falls

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Diamond Offshore, the provider of contract rig services, said its fourth-quarter profit fell 12% to $241.7 million, or $1.74 per share, compared with $276.1 million, or $1.98 per share, a year earlier as revenue slipped 6% to $840.9 million. The company also declared a special dividend of 75 cents a share, payable on Feb. 28 to shareholders of record on Feb. 11.

Analysts expected Texas-based Diamond Offshore (DO) to earn $1.47 a share on revenue of $845 million. The company said its fourth-quarter results were helped by favorable tax benefits.

For the full year, Diamond Offshore reported net income of $955.5 million, or $6.87 per share, compared with net income of $1.4 billion, or $9.89 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2009. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2010 were $3.3 billion, compared with $3.6 billion for 2009.

In anticipation of higher demand for its services, the company exercised an option with Hyundai Heavy Industries for second deepwater drillship. The second vessel is slated to be delivered at the end of 2013. Diamond also secured a fixed-price option on the third drillship from Hyundai, according to Offshore.