CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/25/13 -- (Canadian dollars except as indicated)
This news release contains "forward-looking information and statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. For a full disclosure of the forward-looking information and statements and the risks to which they are subject, see the "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements" later in this news release.
The Board of Directors of Precision Drilling Corporation (TSX: PD) (NYSE: PDS) ("Precision" or the "Corporation") has declared a second quarter dividend on its common shares of $0.05 per share, payable on May 15, 2013, to shareholders of record on May 6, 2013. For Canadian income tax purposes, all dividends paid by Precision on its common shares are designated as "eligible dividends", unless otherwise indicated by Precision.
Net earnings this quarter were $93 million or $0.33 per diluted share compared to $111 million or $0.39 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012.
Revenue this quarter was $596 million, or 7% lower than the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to lower North American activity partially offset by higher average dayrates and increased international activity.
Earnings before income taxes, finance charges, foreign exchange, and depreciation and amortization ("adjusted EBITDA") this quarter was $215 million or 12% lower than the first quarter of 2012. Our adjusted EBITDA margin was 36% this quarter, compared to 38% in the first quarter of 2012. The decrease in adjusted EBITDA margin was mainly the result of lower activity levels across most North American business lines partially offset by higher dayrates. Our activity in this quarter, as measured by drilling rig utilization days, decreased 10% in Canada and 23% in the United States compared to the first quarter of 2012.
North American drilling activity was down this quarter versus the prior year quarter as a result of continuing low natural gas prices, oil transportation bottlenecks resulting in regional oil price discounts, and general global economic uncertainty persisting for much of the quarter.
Revenue and adjusted EBITDA for the quarter were higher than the fourth quarter 2012 revenue and adjusted EBITDA of $534 million and $177 million, respectively, primarily as a result of increased activity levels in Canada along with higher dayrates and margins in Canada.
"I am pleased with Precision's strong financial performance during the first quarter despite subdued North American industry activity levels that continue to disappoint many in the industry. Our success is a direct result of the investment in upwards of 70 Tier 1 rigs over the past few years", said Kevin Neveu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Precision Drilling.
"Precision's Canadian drilling operations earned margins almost $1,000 above the prior year while Canadian industry drilling days were down approximately 10 percent. Our combination of a large Tier 1 fleet, excellent service and diligent cost management continues to produce value for customers and shareholders."
"The plummet in gas directed drilling activity in the United States which began in late 2011 and continued through the first quarter of this year has put pressure on industry utilization and dayrates. Precision's drilling activity was down 23% during the quarter while dayrates remained stable, reflecting the higher percentage of Super Series rigs active during the quarter. We remain focused on executing our High Performance, High Value strategy and less fixated on short-term changes in utilization. We believe our strategy creates the greatest opportunities for our rigs over the long-term and this is especially true in today's performance-driven market."
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