Precision Drilling Posts Significant Rise in 3Q Profit
Precision Drilling Corporation (NYSE: PDS), formerly known as Precision Drilling Trust, had a reported better-than-expected 79% rise in third quarter profits, bolstered by higher drilling activity and pricing.
Precision saw a rise of 20% in rig utilization within the United States. Revenue for Precision’s contract drilling increased 22% to $447 million or roughly 86% of total revenue whereas industry wide, there was only an 8% increase. However, the increase in revenue to $520 million still fell short of the average analyst estimate of $521 million. Production services revenue also climbed 7%.
Comparatively, Canadian peers of Precision to include Savanna Energy Services Corp., Ensign Energy Services, Inc., and Trinidad Drilling Ltd experienced small rig utilization increases of 6% in Canada and 4% globally for the September 30 quarter.
Reported results fall in line with the expected trend of strong quarterly numbers for onshore drillers, fueled by the North American shale drilling boom. As far as the current slump in crude oil prices, these will weigh more heavily on offshore drillers than onshore companies like Precision.
Even so, Precision Drilling reduced expected capital gain for 2014 by roughly 3% or $808 million due to upgrade projects and the deferral of infrastructure.
According to Kevin Neveu, Chief Executive of Precision, although overall customer demand might be affected by further reductions in commodity prices, it is anticipated that demand for the company’s super series fleet will remain strong because of the value that these rigs generate.
Ongoing demand for Precision’s super series fleet played a key role in the rise of net income to $46 million or $0.16 per share, up from $26 million or $0.9 per share one year earlier. On average, analysts expected $0.15 a share.
The quarterly dividend was also raised 17% to $0.6 per share. For 2014, shares remain unchanged as of Friday’s closing bell. On the New York Stock Exchange, shares closed at $8.85, which compares to the company’s competitors who had an approximate 26% drop in stock prices.
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