* To take $15.85 mln charge in connection with the
* Sees fourth-quarter adj loss of 3 to 5 cents per share
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.
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.
Excluding the charge, fourth-quarter adjusted loss was 3 to
5 cents per share, Parker Drilling said.
Analysts were expecting the company to report a profit of 5
cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The
company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb.
"It is a positive that this issue has been put to bed now,"
said Stephens Inc analyst John Keller. "Every quarter for the
last couple of years, they have had a charge or expense in
relation to it."
The company said its international operations were 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.
Parker Drilling shares were trading up less than a percent
at $6.14 at market open on Friday on the New York Stock