Included in this year's net income are gains from the sale of portfolio securities of $16,060,000 ($0.31 per share), primarily from the sale of 1,000,000 shares of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. Also included in net income is approximately $5,500,000 ($0.11 per share) income from the sale of two drilling rigs. Last year's first quarter net income included $3,057,000 ($.06 per share) of gains from the sale of portfolio securities.
This year's first quarter operating income for the Company's drilling operations was up significantly from last year's first quarter and from last year's fourth quarter, exclusive of the $51.5 million asset impairment charge. The increase was primarily due to improvements in U.S. land rig dayrates and cash margins, which resulted in U.S. land rig operating income reaching its highest quarterly level since the peak of the 2001 up cycle. This year's first quarter average U.S. land rig revenues and cash margins were up by $926 and $1,340 per day, respectively, over last year's fourth quarter. Cash margins for this year's first quarter averaged $5,563 per rig day, compared with $3,414 per rig day during last year's first quarter, and $4,223 per rig day during last year's fourth quarter. U.S. land rig utilization was 92% for both this year's first quarter and last year's fourth quarter, an increase from 81% utilization recorded during last year's first quarter.
U.S. offshore platform rig operating income for this year's first quarter was relatively flat from last year's first quarter and from last year's fourth quarter (when adjusted for the $51.5 million asset impairment charge). U.S. offshore platform rig utilization was 56% during this year's first quarter, 42% during last year's first quarter, and 54% during last year's fourth quarter.
International operating income was $6,197,000 for this year's first quarter, up substantially from last year's first quarter operating profit of $3,640,000 and up 20% from last year's fourth quarter operating profit of $5,185,000. Rig activity as measured in total quarterly revenue days has increased by about 16% over the past six months. This year's first quarter international land rig utilization was 71%, compared with 53% during the first quarter last year, and 57% during last year's fourth quarter.
Company President and C.E.O., Hans Helmerich commented, "We are very encouraged by the improved profit recorded this quarter as tightening U.S. rig supply has translated into meaningful dayrate and margin increases. We believe these conditions in the U.S. will continue and that international rig activity will likely improve if crude oil and natural gas prices remain within recent price ranges."
Beginning with this quarter, there is a new presentation of the Company's Statement of Operations. Income and expense derived from transactions not related to operating activities are now recorded separately under other income (expense). The most notable change involves revenue and expense from the sale of equipment and other assets, which are no longer included in total operating revenues, segment operating results, or operating statistics such as average revenue, expense or margin per rig day. Additionally, investment income is no longer included in total revenue, but listed under other income. Prior year balances have been reclassified to conform to the current presentation.
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