July 27 Contract driller Helmerich & Payne Inc
posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher
drilling activity, but warned that falling oil prices was
softening demand for rigs and services.
U.S. crude oil prices fell 9 percent in the
April-June quarter from a year earlier to average $93 per
barrel, forcing exploration companies to consider cuts on
Nabors Industries Ltd, owner of the world's largest
land-drilling rig fleet, on Tuesday said customers' spending
reductions was partly responsible for an increasingly
competitive land rig market.
Helmerich & Payne said lower rig expenses and an increase in
drilling activity boosted margins at its U.S. land operations in
the third quarter.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company's revenue from U.S. land
operations rose 31 percent, much higher than the 6 percent rise
the segment posted in the preceding quarter. The segment makes
up for more than 86 percent of total sales.
Income from continuing operations rose to $149.9 million, or
$1.38 per share, in the third quarter, from $109.8 million, or
$1.01 per share, a year earlier.
Adjusted profit was $1.37 per share, much higher than
analysts expectations of $1.16 per share, according to Thomson
Revenue rose 27 percent to $819.8 million, topping market
estimates of $780.4 million.
Helmerich & Payne shares have lost about a fifth of their
value so far this year, compared with a less than 2 percent fall
in the wider U.S. Dow Jones Oil equipment services index.