Parker Drilling Announces 4Q02 Earnings Guidance
Parker Drilling Company expects diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2002 to be in the range of a $0.10 to $0.12 loss versus the First Call Consensus estimate of a $0.09 loss. Nevertheless, a loss in this range would still be consistent with the $0.41 to $0.45 estimated loss for the year that was provided in the third quarter 10Q. All estimates are calculated before the change in accounting principle that was previously disclosed.
Parker management believes that the current market environment of strengthening commodity prices positions the Company to show improved results in 2003. Based on current prices for natural gas and oil, management is anticipating that domestic dayrates will improve and international utilization will increase, resulting in a projected loss in diluted earnings per share for 2003 in the $0.14 to $0.18 range. This range assumes that TCO operations in the Tengiz field of Kazakhstan will resume in the near future, but the loss could increase by up to $0.05 per share if operations are suspended for all of 2003.
"While we are not happy with any loss, even an improving one, we are cautiously optimistic that improved market conditions, annualized savings from reduction in costs and the reduction in debt based on planned assets sales could not only eliminate the loss but possibly result in a profitable 2003," said Robert L. Parker Jr., president and chief executive officer.
Parker is targeting asset sales that could generate as much as $200 million to be used to retire existing debt. The plan to sell assets should result in an improvement in its debt to equity ratio from 67 percent to a ratio in the 50 percent to 55 percent range. The Company cannot predict whether or not the sale of such assets can be consummated on terms that are acceptable to the Company.