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Patterson-UTI (PTEN) Posts Narrower-than-Expected Q1 Loss

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Onshore contract driller Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (PTEN - Free Report) reported loss per share of 48 cents, narrower the Zacks Consensus Estimate for a loss of 54 cents. The narrower-than-expected loss could be attributed to good execution and reduction in cost structure.

Patterson-UTI’s had posted a profit of 6 cents per share in the year-ago the quarter. A rapid decline in rig activity led to the first-quarter loss.

Patterson-Uti Energy Inc. (PTEN - Free Report) Street EPS & Surprise Percent - Last 5 Quarters | FindTheCompany

Revenues of $268.9 million plunged 59.1% from the year-ago quarter but surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $259 million.


 Segmental Performance

Contract Drilling:This segment’s revenues totaled $168.7 million (62.7% of total revenue), down 58% year over year.

Average revenues per operating day decreased to $25,340 from $25,870 in the first quarter of 2015. Average direct costs per operating day came in at $12,150, down from $13,710 in the year-ago quarter.

In particular, the segment was impacted by a steep decline in both operating days (from 6,657 to 15,520) and the number of rigs operational (from 172 to 73) due to a freefall in oil and gas prices.

Consequently, the segment recorded operating loss of $35.1 million. Last year, the company had posted a profit of $68.4 million.

Pressure Pumping: Revenues of $96.3 million declined 61.4% year over year. Moreover, the segment reported a loss of $44 million, substantially wider than a loss of $15 million in the prior-year quarter. The segment was negatively impacted by reduced spending from exploration and production firms that resulted in depressed activity levels. To make matters worse, even the work that has been available is less profitable.

Oil and Natural Gas Production and Exploration: Revenues came in at $4 million, 40% lower than the year-ago quarter. The commodity price downturn meant that the unit incurred a quarterly loss of $2.9 million, which was still narrower than the loss of $4.6 million recorded in year-ago quarter. The improvement could be attributed to the lower impairments in the quarter under review.

Direct Operating Costs

The company reported direct operating expenses of $170.8 million, down 60.1% from $428.3 million reported in the year-ago quarter.     

Capital Expenditure & Balance Sheet

During the quarter, Patterson-UTI spent approximately $21.3 million on capital programs (as against $241.5 million in the first quarter of 2015). As of Mar 31, 2016, the company had $186.6 million in cash and $841.6 million in long-term debt (including current portion).


Patterson-UTI expects an average of 43 rigs to be operational during the second quarter. The company also anticipates an average of 40 rigs to be under term contract for the remaining three quarters of 2016.

In pressure pumping, the company expects second-quarter revenues to fall 20% from the first quarter.

Patterson-UTI pegged its 2016 capital spending projection at $170 million even though the capital expenditure budget is assigned at $190 million for 2016.

Patterson-UTI currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players from the same space include Independence Contract Drilling, Inc. (ICD - Free Report) , North Atlantic Drilling Limited and Seadrill Partners LLC . While Seadrill Partners and Independence Contract Drilling sport a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), North Atlantic Drilling holds a Zacks Rank #2(Buy).

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