UPDATE 2-Better Diamond Offshore profits outshone by rig delays
* Deepwater rig use at 99 pct vs 83 pct year ago
* Second-quarter profit $1.33/share vs est $1.24/share
* One ultra-deepwater unit in shipyard 10 months
(Rewrites with rig delays, share price move)
July 25 (Reuters) - Rig maintenance and the delayed arrival of two new rigs for Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc overshadowed higher-than-expected second-quarter profits, and the stock fell 3.5 percent.
Diamond's fleet status report issued late on Wednesday included 10 months of maintenance for one rig and delays of a few months for the start of contracts for two new ones. Analysts said estimates would come down as a result, with Simmons & Co cutting its 2014 earnings per share number to $5.65 from $6.49.
Diamond shares were down 3.5 percent at $69.02 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Second-quarter net income fell 8 percent to $185 million, or $1.33 per share, from $201 million, or $1.45 per share, a year earlier, although last year's number included 36 cents per share from the sale of five rigs.
Revenue rose about 3 percent to $758 million. Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of $1.24 per share on revenue of $767 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Utilization of Diamond's standard deepwater rigs rose to 99 percent from 83 percent a year earlier. Utilization, measuring the number of rigs being used as a percentage of a company's fleet, also rose for its ultra-deepwater and jack-up rigs.
Day rates for Diamond's deepwater rigs rose about 10 percent in the second quarter.
Bigger rival Noble Corp reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit last Wednesday, as the rates paid for its rigs improved and the amount of downtime decreased.
Diamond, which has a market value of about $10 billion and is majority owned by Loews Corp, said it will pay a special quarterly cash dividend of 75 cents per share and a regular cash dividend of 125 cents per share.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore and Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal and Andre Grenon)