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ARETHUSA (OFF-SHORE) LTD. REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER PROFIT: IMPROVED OPERATING RESULTS FOR FISCAL YEAR

 HOUSTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Arethusa (Off-Shore) Ltd. (NASDAQ-NMS: ARTHF) today reported that higher rig utilization and an increase in dayrates in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a gain in revenues and a profit for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993.
 The company said contract drilling revenues for the fourth quarter rose 29 percent to $26,626,000 from $20,653,000 in the fourth quarter a year ago. In the 1993 quarter, the company achieved net income of $344,000, or $0.02 per share compared to a loss of $5,249,000 or $0.34 per share a year earlier.
 For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 1993 contract drilling revenues increased 22 percent to $94,161,000 from $77,237,000 in fiscal 1992. Arethusa reported a net loss of $5,003,000, or $0.31 per share for fiscal 1993 vs. a profit of $3,343,000 or $0.22 per share for fiscal 1992. Net income for fiscal 1992 included gains of $32,330,000 on the sale of two drilling rigs, one of which the company continues to operate.
 Jan Rask, president and chief executive officer, said, "Operating income, a real gauge of our results, continues to improve as dayrates in the Gulf of Mexico strengthen. For the quarter, our operating income was $1,570,000 compared to an operating loss of $4,544,000 a year before. As a result of the positive fourth quarter, Arethusa was able to report operating income of $195,000 for the full year compared to an operating loss of $21,224,000 in fiscal 1992."
 Rask said, "The improved fourth quarter revenues came from a boost in rig utilization to 99 percent compared to 84 percent for the fourth quarter a year ago and an increase of some $4,800 per day in average fourth quarter dayrates in the Gulf of Mexico. For the full year Arethusa's rig utilization was 93 percent vs. 77 percent a year before.
 "Our profitable operations for the quarter and year are indicative of the increased demand for deep water drilling in the Gulf where we are well positioned with six semisubmersibles working on short term contracts," Rask stated. "Since the end of our fiscal year dayrates in this market have continued to improve and utilization has been 100 percent. Because of this trend, we anticipate our revenues and operating income for the first quarter will show continued improvement," he added.
 Arethusa owns and/or operates a fleet of 15 mobile offshore drilling rigs, including 10 semisubmersibles and five jack-ups. The fleet of semisubmersibles is the third largest in the world and Arethusa is the second largest semisubmersible operator in the Gulf of Mexico. The balance of the fleet is deployed offshore Brazil, Holland, India and Indonesia.
 ARETHUSA (OFF-SHORE) LIMITED AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
 (in thousands, except earnings per share)
 Three Months Ended 12 Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Contract Drilling Revenue $26,626 $20,653 $94,161 $77,237
 Operating Expenses:
 Direct costs 17,109 17,833 63,882 68,225
 General and
 administrative 1,700 1,628 6,300 6,686
 Depreciation 6,247 5,736 23,784 23,550
 Operating income (loss) 1,570 (4,544) 195 (21,224)
 Other income (expense):
 Interest expense (2,290) (2,722) (10,194) (11,841)
 Interest income 1,531 2,056 6,196 5,012
 Gain on sale of assets 164 24 1,015 33,128
 Other, net (81) 202 (154) 94
 Income (loss) before
 income taxes 894 (4,984) (2,942) 5,169
 Tax provision (550) (265) (2,061) (1,826)
 Net income (loss) $ 344 $(5,249) $(5,003) $ 3,343
 Earnings (loss) per
 common share $ 0.02 ($0.34) ($0.31) $0.22
 Weighted average
 common shares
 outstanding 18,268 15,333 16,073 15,333
 -0- 11/18/93
 /CONTACT: Charles R. Richter, chief financial officer of Arethusa Off-Shore Company, 713-226-6500/


CO: Arethusa (Off-Shore) Ltd. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: ERN

SP -- NY047 -- 6034 11/18/93 12:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1993
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