Thursday, June 10, 2010

Moody's (NYSE:MCO) Slashes Transocean's (NYSE:RIG) Ratings Outlook

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) had its ratings outlook lowered by Moody's (NYSE:MCO) from "Stable" to "Negative," based on the uncertainty accompanying its exposure to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, which continues to spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Although the share price of Transocean has risen recently, for the year they are down about 47 percent, and not all of that is related to the oil accident.

One certainty is legal costs for Transocean will rise said Moody's, and it's in relationship to the unknown future liabilities which has driven the rating agency to lower their outlook for the oil company.

At this time investigations haven't uncovered any responsibility for Transocean in the circumstance, but investigations haven't really picked up yet, as most are waiting for the leak to be solidly plugged before traveling down that path.

Transocean had been having a tough year already before the oil accident, having first-quarter earnings plunge by 27 percent, as revenue dropped and utilization rates plunged.

If Transocean is found to have some liability, they won't only have to deal with the U.S. government, but it's possible BP (NYSE:BP) could sue them for damages that they've already had to pay out, and will continue to pay out in the future.

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