Patterson-UTI Energy Announces Fourth Quarter Results

Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN) announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended 2004. Net income for the three months ended December 31, 2004 increased by 88 percent to $38.5 million, or $0.23 per share, from $20.45 million, or $0.12 per share for the fourth quarter of 2003. Revenues for the three-month period increased by 38 percent to $288.3 million, compared to revenues of $208.3 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2003.

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2004 increased by 93 percent to $108.7 million, or $0.64 per share, from $56.4 million, or $0.34 per share for the prior year. Revenues for the twelve month period increased by 29 percent to $1 billion, compared to revenues of $776.2 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2003.

The Company also announced that the Board of Directors has approved an increase in the quarterly cash dividend on its Common Stock to $0.04 per share from $0.02 per share. The cash dividend is to be paid to holders of record on February 28, 2005 and paid on March 4, 2005.

Cloyce A. Talbott, Patterson-UTI's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The results from our contract drilling operations this past quarter continue to reflect the upward trend in demand. During the recently completed quarter we averaged 229 rigs operating, including 216 in the U.S. and 13 in Canada, compared to an average of 216 rigs operating, including 208 in the U.S. and 8 in Canada for the third quarter. We also achieved sequential quarterly increases in our average revenue per operating day to $11,200 from $10,400 and our average margin per operating day to $3,890 from $3,320."

He added, "Customer demand has continued to increase over the last several months reflecting the expectation that natural gas prices will remain high. For the first 15 days of February, we averaged 265 rigs operating, including 248 in the U.S. and 17 in Canada. Our average revenue per operating day has continued to improve as increased demand has diminished the supply of available land drilling rigs.

"We will continue to activate additional land drilling rigs at a modest pace. This approach allows us time to prepare rigs properly for reactivation and train crews, which permits us to maintain efficiency for our customers," Talbott added.

Mark S. Siegel, Chairman of Patterson-UTI Energy, stated, "This has been a very successful year for Patterson-UTI Energy and its shareholders. We achieved record annual revenues of $1 billion, obtained a 5-year $200 million unsecured revolving credit facility, increased our drilling fleet by 18 rigs through our acquisition of TMBR/Sharp Drilling, Inc. and entered into an acquisition agreement with Key Energy Services, Inc. for the purchase of 35 land drilling rigs that was completed in January 2005. Additionally, we completed a two-for-one stock split and initiated a quarterly cash dividend.

"Our earnings capacity has grown significantly over the last several years. We have acquired 121 drilling rigs from January 2001 through January 2005, an increase of 44 percent, and we currently have 396 drilling rigs. For 2004, we achieved record annual revenues of $1 billion on average rig utilization of only 59 percent. If the demand for drilling rigs continues to increase, we expect our revenues and earnings to benefit from both improved pricing and rig utilization.

"Our strong balance sheet allows us to continue to pursue opportunistic acquisitions, as well as reactivate idle rigs and pay dividends to our shareholders. We ended the year with $112.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, $243.9 million in working capital, and no long-term debt. The strength of our balance sheet is supplemented by our new $200 million revolving credit facility," Siegel added.

All references to "earnings per share" in this press release are diluted earnings per share as defined within the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 128.

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