Shares of Helmerich & Payne Inc. ( HP Quick Quote HP - Free Report) have lost 11.8% since third-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings announcement on Jul 28. Apart from a loss wider than the year-ago quarter’s level, this industry player's earnings performance was hampered by increased operating expenses, discouraging investors. Delving Deeper Helmerich & Payne reported an adjusted loss of 57 cents per share for the fiscal third quarter, meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, this oil and gas contract drilling services provider’s loss worsened from the year-ago quarter’s loss of 34 cents. The bottom-line result for the reported quarter can be attributed to a strong operating profit from the offshore Gulf of Mexico segment, offset by higher operating expenses and a weak revenue contribution from the International Solutions segment. Nevertheless, operating revenues of $332.21 million topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $323 million and also increased 4.8% from the year-ago level. Segmental Performance North America Solutions: Operating revenues of $281.1 million were up10.5% year over year. However, the segment reported a wider operating loss of $43.7 million than the loss of $25.2 million reported in third-quarter fiscal 2020 due to costs related to reactivating rigs. Offshore Gulf of Mexico: Revenues of $33.4 million decreased 11.01% from the year-ago quarter’s reading. The segment recorded an operating profit of $5.71 million, higher than the year-ago quarter’s $3.01 million. International Solutions: Operations generated revenues of $15.3 million, down from $22.5 million in the prior-year quarter. The unit reported a loss of $3.54 million, narrower than the year-ago loss of $9.54 million. Capital Expenditure & Balance Sheet In the reported quarter, Helmerich & Payne spent $18.43 million on capital programs. As of Jun 30, 2021, the company had $370.6 million in cash and cash equivalents while long-term debt was $481 million (debt-to-capitalization of 13.8%). Guidance This Tulsa, OK-based company anticipates operating gross margins between $72 million and $82 million in the North America Solutions segment for the fiscal fourth quarter. The company predicts around 127-132 contracted rigs by Sep 30, 2021. Coming to the Offshore Gulf of Mexico segment, Helmerich & Payne envisions operating gross margins within $7-$9 million for the fiscal fourth quarter. International Solutions’ operating gross margins are forecast at a loss of $2-$0 million for the current quarter. For the current fiscal year, Helmerich & Payne estimates a capital outlay at the lower end of the past projection of $85-$105 million. Research and development expenses for fiscal 2021 are now expected to be roughly $20-$25 million while general and administrative expenses are projected to be approximately $160 million. Depreciation is estimated to be around $425 million. Zacks Rank & Key Picks Helmerich & Payne currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the energy space are Devon Energy Corporation ( DVN Quick Quote DVN - Free Report) , Matador Resources Company ( MTDR Quick Quote MTDR - Free Report) and Continental Resources, Inc. , each presently flaunting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .