(By Balaseshan) Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE:HP), a contract drilling company, reported a 36.5% jump in quarterly earnings on higher drilling activity and lower rig expenses at its U.S. land operations. Results exceeded Street's expectations.
Earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter were $149.93 million or $1.38 per share, up from $109.83 million or $1.01 per share last year.
This year's and last year's results included $0.01 and $0.02 per share, respectively, of after-tax gains related to the sale of used drilling equipment and investment securities.
Revenue climbed 27.3% to $819.79 million. Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of $1.16 per share on revenue of $780.42 million.
Revenue from U.S. land drilling surged 31% to $706.79 million, while offshore drilling revenue plunged 23.7% to $41.62 million. International land drilling revenue jumped 46.5% to $67.48 million, while other revenue declined 4.9% to $3.9 million.
In the U.S. land operations, revenue days rose to 21,977 from 18,912, while average rig revenue per day increased to $28,096 from $25,970.
In the offshore operations, revenue days declined 5%, while average rig revenue per day fell 9%. In the International land operations, revenue days jumped 28.9%, while average rig revenue per day grew 14.2%.
The company repurchased about 1.75 million shares during the third fiscal quarter at an average cost of about $44.40 per share.
As of July 27, 2012, the company's existing fleet included 279 land rigs in the U.S., 29 international land rigs and nine offshore platform rigs. In addition, Helmerich & Payne is scheduled to complete another 25 new H&P-designed and operated FlexRigs under long-term contracts with customers.
HP closed Thursday's regular session up 5.83% at $45.77. The stock has been trading between $35.58 and $72.52 for the past 52 weeks.