Helmerich & Payne Reports Earnings

Helmerich & Payne (NYSE: HP) reports net income of $127,606,000 ($2.45 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $800,726,000 for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2005, compared with net income of $4,359,000 ($0.09 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $589,056,000 for the previous fiscal year. Net income includes gains from the sale of portfolio securities of $0.32 per share for 2005, and $0.31 per share for 2004. Net income for fiscal 2004 includes a non-cash charge of $51,516,000 ($0.63 per diluted share) for impairment of a portion of the Company's Gulf of Mexico offshore platform rigs.

Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 was $36,121,000 ($0.68 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $233,210,000. Included in this year's fourth quarter net income was $0.01 per share from gains from the sale of portfolio securities. Including the impairment charge mentioned above, the Company recorded a loss for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 of $12,624,000 ($0.25 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $164,068,000. During the fourth quarter of 2004, the Company recorded $0.16 per share of gains from the sale of portfolio securities.

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. has also signed separate term agreements with two exploration and production companies to operate a total of nine new FlexRig4sŪ. Each rig agreement includes a minimum term of at least three years and construction costs are estimated at slightly over $11 million per rig. Other terms and customer names were not disclosed. This brings to 50, the total number of new FlexRigs to be built by H&P with at least three-year commitments that have been announced by the Company since March of this year.

Company President and C.E.O., Hans Helmerich commented, "We are pleased to reach the milestone of our 50th new-build order. This latest announcement will bring our total number of FlexRigs to 100 once completed, or 71% of our entire U.S. land rig fleet. This strong organic growth further establishes our belief that the Company's overall fleet is the newest and most uniform in the land drilling industry. Customers continue to respond favorably to the proven performance that establishes these rigs as what we believe are best in class. We also believe the market will continue to push demand, not only for more available rigs, but for more capable rigs as well.

"Our 2005 results benefited from the strongest U.S. land market environment in over 20 years as average cash margins per day increased to $9,317. The robust ramp-up in the energy industry has brought to bear its own challenges, including additional pressure on costs and people. Nonetheless, we are confident this energy cycle will continue to present exciting opportunities going forward."

Operations Summary

Operating income in the Company's U.S. land rig operations increased to $56,028,000 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, from $13,856,000 for the same period last year, and from $47,244,000 for this year's third quarter. Average revenue per rig day rose to $18,563 and cash margins per rig day to $9,317 for this year's fourth quarter, compared with $16,658 revenue per rig day and $8,219 cash margins per rig day for the previous quarter. U.S. land rig operating expense per day increased by 9.6% from this year's third quarter to this year's fourth quarter. The rise in expenses resulted from labor, materials, and supply cost increases. Average U.S. land rig utilization during the fourth quarter of 2005 was 95%, compared with 92% during last year's fourth quarter, and 94% during this year's third quarter.

The Company's offshore platform rig business reported operating income of $4,720,000 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, compared with $4,648,000 for the third quarter of 2005, and an operating loss of $47,540,000 for the fourth quarter 2004. For quarterly comparisons, the offshore operations would have reported an operating profit of $3,976,000 for the fourth quarter of 2004, without the $51,516,000 impairment charge. Rig utilization was 65% during this year's fourth quarter, compared with 54% during last year's fourth quarter, and 45% during this year's third quarter. This year's fourth quarter was negatively impacted by lost operating income of approximately $600,000 due to damage from Hurricane Katrina to offshore platform Rig 201. Seven platform rigs are currently operating and one additional rig is scheduled for work commencing the second fiscal quarter of 2006. It is anticipated that Rig 201 will not return to service during fiscal 2006.

International operating income declined during the fourth quarter of 2005 to $3,910,000, from $5,185,000 for last year's fourth quarter, and $5,284,000 for this year's third quarter. During the quarter, it was discovered the Company had not adequately reserved for future government stipulated deferred compensation payments to Venezuelan rig employees. As a result, $1,865,000 was expensed during this year's fourth quarter for those previously earned, but unpaid future obligations. Rig utilization for international operations rose to 85% for the quarter, up from 57% during last year's fourth quarter, and 80% during this year's third quarter.

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