CanElson Drilling (TSE:CDI) said Monday its fourth quarter profit more than tripled on higher sales, as the company's board approved an initial dividend.
For the three months that ended December 31, the drill rig maker and operator posted net income attributable to shareholders of $11.3 million, or $0.15 per share, more than triple than the $3.3 million, or $0.07 per share, it earned a year ago.
Total revenues for the quarter, all of which were derived from its services segment, more than doubled to $64.1 million, from $24.4 million in the same period last year.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg Businessweek had anticipated $0.15 per share in profit, on $57.3 million in sales.
Revenues from the company's domestic services unit spiked 180 percent during the quarter, to $40.1 million.
Foreign services revenues rose 137 percent to $24.0 million.
On a per day basis, domestic revenues increased 12 percent to $27.95, offset by a 15 percent decline in foreign revenues of $31.04 per day, the company said.
The company had a utilization rate of 77 percent in Canada, compared to an industry utilization rate of 61 percent. In the U.S., utilization was 84 percent.
Gross profit margins for the fourth quarter rose to 45 percent, from 31 percent a year ago.
During the latest quarter, CanElson delivered one "purpose-built" small footprint ultra-heavy-duty telescoping double drilling rig. The rig is designed to drill deep horizontal wells, with depths of up to 5,500 metres.
Shortly after the end of the fourth quarter, the company delivered another tele-double rig to the Permian Basin of west Texas, under a term committed contract. CanElson also said it is currently constructing another tele-double rig for deployment to this region, expected for April 2012.
The majority of CanElson's rig fleet continues to be tele-double drills, reflecting management's view that these rigs are the most efficient, it said.
"We continue our combination of effective capital deployment and efficient operations of good people and rigs, which in turn has given us a robust financial position, thereby allowing us to pay a dividend while simultaneously continuing our disciplined but aggressive growth plans," said president and CEO, Randy Hawkings.
For the full year fiscal 2011, the company posted earnings of $31.3 million, or $0.45 per share, up more than six-fold from 2010. Revenues doubled to $189.1 million.
CanElson manufactures and operates drill rigs in the oil and gas industry. It is currently operating 21 rigs in the western Canadian sedimentary basin (WCSB), where most of its operations are focused in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, seven rigs in the Permian Basin of west Texas, four rigs in the Williston Basin of North Dakota, and two drill rigs and two service rigs in the Misantla-Tampico Basin of Mexico.
In Mexico, the company's operations are conducted through a 50 percent-owned joint venture company - Diavaz CanElson de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. - which is currently focused in the Ebano-Panuco-Cacalilao fields of the Misantla-Tampico Basin.