Helmerich & Payne Posts Higher Q2 Profit

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. reported net income of $106,861,000 ($1.02 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $372,536,000 for its second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2007, compared with net income of $64,573,000 ($0.61 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $290,830,000 during last year's second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2006.

Included in net income for the second fiscal quarter of 2007 was approximately $0.18 per share from after-tax gains related to the sale of two platform rigs, and $0.05 per share from after-tax gains related to an ongoing insurance settlement for hurricane damages to offshore platform Rig 201 and other asset sales. Comparable after-tax gains from the sale of assets totaled $0.02 per share net income for the second quarter of 2006.

For the six months ended March 31, 2007, the Company reported net income of $217,647,000 ($2.08 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $758,935,000, compared with net income of $115,387,000 ($1.09 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $546,218,000 during the six months ended March 31, 2006. Included in net income were after-tax gains from the sale of portfolio securities and drilling equipment, including insurance proceeds, of $0.39 per share for the first six months of fiscal 2007 and $0.05 per share for the first six months of fiscal 2006.

Segment operating income from the Company's U.S. land rig operations was up substantially from one year ago, but declined sequentially from $118,408,000 during this year's first fiscal quarter to $109,782,000 during this year's second quarter. The sequential decline resulted from decreases in rig revenue and margin per day of 5% and 9%, respectively. The Company's U.S. land rig utilization was 97% during this year's second quarter, compared with 98% for both last year's second quarter and this year's first quarter. Additionally, total U.S. land rig activity increased 6% sequentially to 11,156 days during this year's second quarter as newly constructed rigs were deployed to the field. The Company continues to deploy additional new builds at the rate of approximately four per month.

The Company's U.S. offshore operations reported segment operating income of $2,198,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 2007, compared with $7,369,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 2006, and $5,691,000 for the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Total activity days in U.S. offshore operations during the quarter decreased to 522, compared with 699 activity days during the same period last year and 588 activity days during the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The decline in segment operating income during this second fiscal quarter was mostly attributable to two rigs that transitioned into standby status under substantially lower dayrates, and to another two that completed drilling operations and demobilized during the quarter.

Segment operating income from the Company's international operations was $21,481,000 during this year's second quarter, compared with $13,112,000 during last year's second quarter and $25,763,000 during this year's first quarter. The sequential decline in operating income resulted primarily from a higher number of activity days devoted to well-to-well moves at lower dayrates and margins as compared to those of normal drilling days. However, the Company anticipates that segment operating income for the last six months of this fiscal year will slightly increase from the segment operating income reported for the first six months due to expected increases in dayrates and margins, even though activity days are projected to be lower due to recent rig releases. International rig utilization was 93% during this year's second quarter, compared with 89% during last year's second quarter, and 96% during this year's first quarter.

Company President and C.E.O., Hans Helmerich commented, "We have long believed that the technological advances introduced with the Company's FlexRig®* technology would help differentiate the Company from the rest of the field. As many of our competitors report significant numbers of rigs currently stacked, our land rig utilization in the U.S. remains high at 97%. Dayrates continue to experience some softening in the face of uncertain natural gas pricing and new capacity displacing less capable rigs. During increased market volatility, the overall rig count has held up nicely and is slightly above year-ago levels, suggesting resiliency to the energy cycle.

"With the sale of two of our offshore platform rigs, the remaining nine platform rigs represent only 5% of our entire fleet and less than 2% of total Company segment operating income. We expect that segment's operating income during the next two to three quarters to be slightly improved over that reported in this year's second quarter."

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. is a contract drilling company with a rig fleet that currently includes 140 U.S. land rigs, nine U.S. platform rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico and 27 international land rigs. In addition, the Company is committed to complete another 24 new H&P-designed and operated FlexRigs, expanding its total number of FlexRigs to 125 and its total number of U.S. land rigs to 164. The Company expects to complete 18 of these 24 new FlexRigs by September 30, 2007, the end of its fiscal year.

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