Pride International reports 4th quarter profits slump

Offshore oil and gas driller Pride International Tuesday reported that fourth- quarter net earnings slumped, reflecting the weakness in drilling and work activity, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico jackup market. Pride reported a quarterly net income of $3.1 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with $28.5 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Results for the 2001 fourth quarter include a $6.9 million charge to reduce the carrying value of the assets in Argentina and other items. Excluding charges and items, Pride reported earnings of $11.4 million or 9 cents per share. Pride said it expects first-quarter net earnings to break even and sees its second-quarter net earnings at 8 cents to 10 cents per share and its 2002 full-year earnings at 30 cents to 35 cents per share. It also expects to generate about $300 million in cash from operations in 2002.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, Pride said it had priced a private offering of $250 million of 2.5 percent convertible senior notes. The net proceeds from the offering will be used to refinance senior indebtedness.