Calgary

Precision Drilling posts Q3 loss but foresees improved rig bookings for 2017

Precision Drilling Corp. had a $47-million net loss for the third quarter as revenue declined 45 per cent from last year.

With commodity prices strengthening, CEO says 'improved outlook is evident'

Revenue declined in all of Precision Drilling's operations in the third quarter, falling to $202 million, down from $364 million in the same period of 2015. (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)

Precision Drilling Corp. had a $47-million net loss for the third quarter as revenue declined 45 per cent from last year.

The loss amounted to 16 cents per share, which was an improvement from the Calgary-based drilling company's 2015 third quarter loss of $87 million or 30 cents per share.

Revenue declined in all of Precision Drilling's operations, with the total falling to $202 million from $364 million in the third quarter of 2015.

The company's adjusted earnings were down 63 per cent from last year, dropping to $41 million from $111 million. Revenue per operating hour dropped to $599 from $786, a decline of nearly 24 per cent.

Despite the bleak results in the quarter ended Sept. 30, Precision Drilling's chief executive says customer sentiment has improved along with strengthening commodity prices.

"This improved outlook is evident in the conversations we are having with customers, but more importantly in our activity increases, recent contract bookings and improving pricing environment," Precision Drilling president and CEO Kevin Neveu said in a release Friday.

"During the third quarter, we gained visibility through rig commitments in both the U.S. and Canada and report seven rig years added to our 2017 contract book, bringing average rigs under contract for next year to 42.

"With 37 rigs operating in the U.S. today, our activity is up 70 per cent from second quarter lows, while the industry increase is approximately 35 per cent. We believe our market share increase and contract additions reflect both the desirability of Precision's high performance Super Triple rigs and our customers' improving outlook."

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