AKITA Maintains Significant Financial Strength from '09
Earnings for the year ended December 31, 2009 were $8,380,000 or $0.46 per share on revenue of $106,263,000. Comparative figures for 2008 were $14,847,000 or $0.84 per share on revenue of $137,246,000. Funds flow from continuing operations for the current year was $23,960,000 as compared to $34,149,000 in 2008 while cash flow from operations for 2009 was $29,235,000 as compared to $19,367,000 in 2008.
The Company's rig utilization in 2009 was 31.1% and once again compared favorably to the industry average of 24.6%, but fell short of AKITA's 2008 utilization of 42.2%. This represented the lowest annual utilization rate achieved by AKITA since its inception in 1993. AKITA's conventional rigs averaged 23.7% utilization. Pad rigs fared better, averaging 59.5% utilization.
AKITA currently has eight rigs with pad moving capabilities which are actively drilling for both heavy oil in north east Alberta and natural gas in shale formations. Two of AKITA's rigs were retro-fitted into pad rigs from conventional configurations during 2008 and 2009. Demand remained steady throughout the year for pad rigs to drill either heavy oil (five rigs) or natural gas, particularly in shale bearing formations (three rigs).
The Company maintains significant financial strength, which has placed AKITA in a strong position to weather the current market conditions. At December 31, 2009 the Company had $69.9 Million in working capital ($3.83 per share) including $34.1 Million in cash and cash equivalents ($1.87 per share), $18.0 Million in term deposits ($0.99 per share) and no long-term debt. As well, the carrying value for the Company's fleet was only $142.2 Million ($3.7 Million per rig). Although an evaluation of replacement cost for AKITA's fleet has not been performed, management is confident that the cost to replace the Company's fleet is significantly higher than its carrying value.
On October 20, 2009, the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors provided its industry drilling forecast for 2010 estimating the drilling of 8,523 wells, compared to 8,360 wells drilled in 2009. The current year estimate was based upon commodity price assumptions of US $70 per barrel for crude oil and Cdn $5.50 per mcf for natural gas. Although the price of crude oil has, at times, been nearly 10% above this forecasted price, to date, the commodity price for natural gas has been approximately 10% below the forecast target. Management remains cautious in predicting that AKITA's 2010 drilling activity will be significantly greater than 2009 levels given the current commodity price structure.
The drilling market continues to demonstrate a clear dichotomy with respect to the market for conventional rigs and the market for pad rigs. The overall short-term prognosis for conventional rigs is for continued weakness unless commodity prices for crude oil and, more significantly, natural gas increase in a sustained fashion. One bright spot in the conventional rig market that occurred in 2009 and appears to provide opportunities in 2010 relates to the market for drilling potash. This work has had a positive impact on AKITA's double sized rigs in Saskatchewan.
- Akita Drilling Establishes Automatic Stock Repurchase Plan (Dec 23)
- AKITA Maintains Significant Financial Strength from '09 (Mar 25)
- Akita Drilling CEO Hlavka Retires, Ruud Appointed to Take His Place (May 19)