Feb 15 Parker Drilling Co said it
reached a settlement with U.S. regulators investigating charges
of bribery in Kazakhstan and Nigeria, and estimated a surprise
loss for the fourth quarter.
The settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission
staff and the U.S. Department of Justice ends a three-year
investigation that found Parker Drilling had potentially made
illegal payments to a government official in Kazakhstan, and
used an individual agent in Nigeria in connection with some
customs-related issues, the company said in regulatory filings.
According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, analysts were
expecting the company to report a profit of 5 cents per share on
Feb. 21, when it is scheduled to announce its results.
Excluding the charge, fourth-quarter adjusted loss was 3 to
5 cents per share, Parker Drilling said.
Parker, which provides contract drilling and related
services, took a charge of $15.85 million, or 13 cents per
share, in the quarter over the settlement.
The company said its international operations were also hurt
by lower rig utilization in the fourth quarter, while its U.S.
operations saw weak demand for barge drilling rigs and increased
competition in the rental tools business.