Trican oilfield service firm cuts 2,000 jobs, suspends dividends

Trican Well Service Ltd. says it has cut 2,000 employees from its North American workforce and will stop paying dividends to its shareholders, citing the difficult current and future market conditions facing its oilfield services business.

Calgary-based company reports net loss of $35.7M in 1st quarter

Calgary-based oilfield service firm Trican is cutting 2,000 employees from its North American workforce and suspending dividend payouts. (Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

Trican Well Service Ltd. says it has cut 2,000 employees from its North American workforce and will stop paying dividends to its shareholders, citing the difficult current and future market conditions facing its oilfield services business.

The Calgary-based company also said it's also seeking relaxed terms on debt agreements and in negotiations to sell its Russian and Kazakhstan pressure pumping business, after receiving an unsolicited offer.

Trican stock plunged 15 per cent on the news, trading near $4.30 at the end of the day. 

The update was included with Trican's first-quarter financial report, issued late Tuesday, which showed the company had a $35.7-million net loss and a $60.3-million adjusted loss in the first quarter ended March 31.

Total revenue for the three months ended March 31 was $476.1 million, down 26 per cent or $167 million from the first quarter of 2014 before the oil and gas industry was hit by a major drop in oil prices that began in November.

Trican said it's aiming to cut $115 million from its fixed annual costs by cutting its workforce and salaries but the savings were more than offset in the first quarter by severance expenses.

It made a $22.4-million dividend payment to shareholders during the first quarter but Trican says further payouts to investors have been suspended indefinitely to preserve its financial resources, given the weak economic outlook.

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