Last week, 30 of the ongoing companies I track announced dividend boosts. This three-part article provides a summary of these increases and provides several FASTGraph charts of stocks that exhibit impressive earnings growth. I like monitoring dividend increases because I consider companies that regularly increase their dividends to be applicants for further analysis and possible investment. Part 1 of the article addresses dividend raises announced for stocks and shares in the Utilities and Energy areas. Part 2 and Part 3 will cover dividend increases of stocks in the remaining sectors.
Now, Jim, I’m not attempting to place any words in your mouth, but I did hear something, and I was surprised, in the ready remarks. Today 2 of value in overall Loews stocks. Typically, when people talk like this, it presents a a type of view that you think that probability that maybe Diamond — the equity at Diamond isn’t worth anything.
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I don’t think that’s what you said but Let me hear why you distributed that data around and what your perspective is. So my outlook is that the just offshore drilling business will keep coming back at some true point in time. But now, while all this time has passed and while the offshore drilling market has been weak, what we’ve seen is a huge amount of scrapping in the offshore-drilling space.
I’ve experienced this movie once before in the supertanker business in the early to middle-80s, and there are 2 things that are going on simultaneously. Number one, we’re seeing that demand is going down, and we’re also seeing that rigs are being laid up. And as they get laid up and as companies don’t possess the funds to maintain and spend money on those rigs, they deteriorate seated on water, as they are doing, a corrosive environment highly. And over time of that, our rigs become more and more costly to reactivate.
So my think is that over another several years, we’re going to — if essential oil prices don’t improve and if the activity will increase — does not increase significantly, we will have more rigs scrapped, now in the market longer. And at some point in time then, the supply — the demand curve changes, you will see more demand for rigs and, bingo, there will not be enough supply. And before you know it, rates will go up again.
So my view is that there will be, at some point in time, a visible change in the marketplace. 2 comment, I mentioned that because Diamond Offshore is consolidated with Loews and so its earnings arrive in our net income numbers. 2 per Loews share. So Diamond has added 4.5 years of backlog at attractive rates. We believe that Diamond, based on the way it’s financed, has a very strong runway, and we believe that Diamond can do well in an improving environment, which I think is arriving.
As for additional investments, we’ll have to wait and see just what the opportunities are, and we will do whatever is in the needs of the Loews shareholder. Okay. I would be incorrect in my own timing a bit, Jim, but I ago think 4 years, some personal debt was raised by you, I believe, at about 2% yield.
My numbers are probably not completely right, mostly the reason was as you couldn’t believe the chance in the market to improve cheap financing and that means you issued some paper. Obviously, we ‘re going into another trough period for interest rates. Does Loews have any desire for growing its balance sheet because the timing makes sense?