Contract Driller Nabors Posts Quarterly Loss As Oil Tumbles


April 25 (Reuters) - Contract driller Nabors Industries Ltd posted a quarterly loss, compared with a year-earlier profit, as oil producers used fewer rigs amid persistently low crude prices.

The company's shares fell 9 percent to $9.86 in after-market trading on Monday.

A more than 60 percent slide in oil prices since their 2014 peak has forced exploration and production companies to cut rig usage, hurting drillers like Nabors.

U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a fifth week in a row to the lowest level since November 2009, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday.

Net loss attributable to Nabors was $398.3 million, or $1.41 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $123.6 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said net loss from continuing operations included impairments from its stake in C&J Energy Services Ltd and its share in that company's losses.

Nabors owns 53 percent of C&J Energy after selling its completion and production services business to the pressure pump operator in 2014.

Nabors said its average U.S. rig count fell to 54, matching its forecast of mid-50s.

Excluding items, Nabors reported a loss of 29 cents per share, smaller than analysts' average estimate of 34 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue fell nearly 70 percent to $430.8 million.

Adjusted revenue of $597.9 million missed analysts' average estimate of $630.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Up to Monday's close, Nabors' shares had lost more than a third of their value in the past 12 months.

(Reporting by Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)


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