Pride Pleased with Preliminary Q1 Results

Pride International, Inc. reported preliminary net earnings for the first quarter 2006 of $70.5 million and income from continuing operations of $69.7 million (40 cents per diluted share) on record revenues of $566.9 million.

For the first quarter 2005, Pride reported net earnings and income from continuing operations of $18.3 million (12 cents per diluted share) on revenues of $466.2 million. Results included gains on sale of assets, net of tax, of $17.5 million (10 cents per diluted share) in the first quarter 2006 and $3.5 million (2 cents per diluted share) in the first quarter 2005.

Growing worldwide demand for the company's drilling rigs contributed to record results during the first quarter 2006. Dayrates increased for all of the company's rig types and operating regions, particularly for the company's semisubmersibles in West Africa and the Mediterranean Sea and for jackups in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Consolidated earnings from operations for the first quarter 2006 totaled $130 million, an increase of $60 million compared with the first quarter 2005 and an increase of $44 million from the fourth quarter 2005. Earnings from operations included gains on asset sales of $27 million in the first quarter 2006, $12 million in the first quarter 2005, and $5 million in the fourth quarter 2005. Excluding these items, operating results for the first quarter increased $45 million, or 77%, over the prior year and $22 million, or 27%, sequentially.

During the first quarter 2006, the average daily revenue for the company's drillships and semi-submersibles increased to approximately $135,800, compared to approximately $119,800 in the first quarter 2005 and $130,300 in the fourth quarter 2005, contributing to an $11-million increase to earnings from operations from the first quarter 2005 and $9 million from the fourth quarter 2005.

The average daily revenue of Pride's worldwide jackup fleet increased to approximately $64,800 as compared to approximately $40,100 in the first quarter 2005 and $54,500 in the fourth quarter 2005. Average daily revenue for the company's U.S. Gulf of Mexico jackups increased during the first quarter 2006 to $91,800, up from $38,200 during the first quarter 2005 and $65,300 during the fourth quarter 2005. Increases in average daily revenue contributed to a $37-million increase to earnings from operations for the jackup and shallow water rigs from the first quarter 2005 and $17 million from the fourth quarter 2005. In addition, during the first quarter 2006, the company reported a gain of $25 million on the sale of the Pride Rotterdam, an accommodation unit.

Pride's Latin America Land and E&P Services segments reported operating income of $23 million and $4 million, respectively, for the first quarter 2006 as compared to $14 million and $6 million, respectively, for the first quarter 2005 and $22 million and $4 million, respectively, for the fourth quarter 2005.

At March 31, 2006, the company's consolidated balance sheet reflected $1.2 billion in total debt and $140 million in cash and cash equivalents. The company invested $46 million in capital expenditures in the first quarter.

"We are pleased with our results for the first quarter, which reflect the strength of the offshore drilling market, particularly in the shallow water U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as we recontract our rigs at record dayrates," said Louis A. Raspino, Pride's president and CEO. "Continuing robust demand for both deepwater and shallow water units indicates that the current favorable market conditions are likely to continue for an extended period of time."

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