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NOBLE DRILLING REPORTS $.05 PER SHARE NET INCOME IN FIRST QUARTER 1993

 HOUSTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Drilling Corporation credited increased activity in the Gulf of Mexico as a key factor in posting net income of $.05 per share for the first quarter of 1993.
 Operating revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 1993 were $52.2 million compared with $35.9 million in the 1992 first quarter. The fiscal year-end for Noble's international operations was changed during the first quarter in order to bring those operations in line with other corporate entities currently reporting on a calendar year-end; therefore the first quarter of 1993 reflects four months of international results. Comparing similar periods, revenues were up 24 percent; for the month of December, international operations generated $7.7 million in revenue.
 The company's net income (after preferred dividends) for the first quarter was $1.7 million, or $.05 per share, compared with a $7.9 million net loss, or ($.23) per share, for the first quarter of 1992. Inclusion of December's international operations had minimal impact and did not affect the per share results. Operating income of $5.1 million in the first quarter of 1993 compares with an operating loss of $2.1 million in the 1992 quarter.
 Utilization of Noble's 12 active rigs in the Gulf of Mexico averaged 87 percent in the first quarter compared with 36 percent in the first quarter of 1992 and 84 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992. Internationally, the company averaged 50 percent utilization on owned and leased equipment during the first quarter of 1993 compared with 46 percent in the 1992 first quarter. Additionally, as of March 31, 1993, the company continued to operate 15 rigs under management contracts in the U.K. North Sea.
 U.S. offshore operations generated 28 percent of operating revenues and international drilling operations generated 64 percent.
 James C. Day, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "The recovery in domestic drilling activity that began in the fourth quarter of 1992 continued through the first quarter. It appears that subject to natural gas prices remaining relatively firm, general demand for drilling equipment in the Gulf of Mexico should remain strong through the balance of the year."
 Noble Drilling's 1993 annual meeting of shareholders will be held at 10:00 a.m. on April 29, 1993 in Houston, Texas.
 Noble Drilling Corporation is a major drilling contractor with offshore and land operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and the Far East. The company's outstanding Common Stock and $2.25 Convertible Exchangeable Preferred Stock are traded in the NASDAQ/NMS under the symbols "NDCO" and "NDCOP", respectively.
 NOBLE DRILLING CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 SUMMARY OF RESULTS
 (Unaudited, in thousands except per share amounts)
 Quarter ended March 31,
 1993 1992
 Operating revenues $ 52,172 $ 35,867
 Operating income (loss) $ 5,051 $ (2,055)
 Income (loss) from continuing
 operations $ 3,392 $ (3,420)
 Loss from discontinued oil and gas
 operations $ 0 $ (2,835)
 Net income (loss) $ 3,392 $ (6,255)
 Preferred dividends $ (1,682) $ (1,682)
 Earnings applicable to common shares $ 1,710 $ (7,937)
 Net income (loss) per common
 share
 Continuing operations $ 0.05 $ (0.15)
 Discontinued operations (0.08)
 Total $ 0.05 $ (0.23)
 Average common shares outstanding 34,712 33,793
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Byron Welliver, senior vice president - finance and treasurer, of Noble Drilling Corporation, 713-974-3131/
 (NDCO)


CO: Noble Drilling Corporation ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: ERN

LR -- NY097 -- 2195 04/28/93 15:24 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 28, 1993
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