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NOBLE DRILLING REPORTS $.12 NET INCOME PER COMMON SHARE IN THIRD QUARTER 1993

 HOUSTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Drilling Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: NDCO) posted net income per common share of $.12 for the third quarter of 1993 which reflected strong Gulf of Mexico activity levels.
 Operating revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993 were $44.8 million, up 35 percent compared with $33.3 million in the 1992 third quarter. The company's net income applicable to common shares for the third quarter was $4.1 million, or $.12 per common share, compared with a net loss of $3.5 million, or $.10 per common share, for the third quarter of 1992.
 Results for the nine month period reflected net income applicable to common shares of $8.2 million, or $.23 per common share, on operating revenues of $136.5 million compared with a net loss applicable to common shares of $15.3 million, or $.45 per common share, on operating revenues of $102.1 million in the first nine months of 1992. As reported previously in 1993, 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 nine months of 1993 reflect ten months of international results. Inclusion in the 1993 results of international operations for December 1992 had minimal impact and did not materially affect the per share results.
 Utilization of Noble's 12 active rigs in the Gulf of Mexico averaged 88 percent in the 1993 third quarter compared with 48 percent in the third quarter of 1992 and 89 percent in the second quarter of 1993. Internationally, the company averaged 53 percent utilization on owned and leased equipment during the third quarter of 1993 compared with 39 percent in the 1993 second quarter and 34 percent in the 1992 third quarter. Additionally, as of Sept. 30, 1993, the company continued to operate 14 rigs under management contracts in the U.K. North Sea.
 During the third quarter of 1993, offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico generated approximately 45 percent of total operating revenues and international drilling operations generated approximately 47 percent of total operating revenues.
 As previously announced, on Oct. 7, 1993, Nobel completed its acquisition of nine offshore jackup drilling rigs and related drilling equipment from The Western Company of North America for $150 million in cash, together with its public offerings of 12,041,000 shares of common stock and $125 million principal amount of 9-1/4 percent Senior Notes Due 2003. Net proceeds from the offerings were also used to prepay in full the outstanding indebtedness (including accrued interest) of approximately $41 million to Transworld Drilling Company which related to the acquisition of 12 offshore drilling units in January 1991. The balance of the net proceeds is available for general corporate purposes.
 James C. Day, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "Increased third quarter and nine months earnings are due primarily to improved gulf of Mexico rig activity. We anticipate the Gulf to remain relatively stable in the fourth quarter."
 Day added, "The addition of the nine Western Company rigs will have a positive impact on worldwide operations."
 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 Sept. 30
 1993 1992
 Operating revenues $ 44,833 $ 33,316
 Operating income (loss) $ 5,418 $ (1,477)
 Income (loss) from
 continuing operations $ 5,772 $ (1,542)
 Discontinued oil and gas
 operations $ 0 $ (247)
 Net income (loss) $ 5,772 $ (1,789)
 Preferred dividends $ (1,682) $ (1,682)
 Net income (loss) applicable
 to common shares $ 4,090 $ (3,471)
 Net income (loss) per common
 share --
 Continuing operations $ 0.12 $ (0.09)
 Discontinued oil and
 gas operations $ 0.00 $ (0.01)
 Net income (loss) per
 common share $ 0.12 $ (0.10)
 Weighted average common
 common shares outstanding 35,326 34,061
 Nine Months ended Sept. 30
 1993 1992
 Operating revenues $ 136,488 $ 102,057
 Operating income (loss) $ 15,453 $ (5,903)
 Income (loss) from
 continuing operations $ 13,261 $ (7,304)
 Discontinued oil and gas
 operations $ 0 $ (2,932)
 Net income (loss) $ 13,261 $ (10,236)
 Preferred dividends $ (5,046) $ (5,046)
 Net income (loss) applicable
 to common shares $ 8,215 $ (15,282)
 Net income (loss) per common
 share --
 Continuing operations $ 0.23 $ (0.36)
 Discontinued oil and
 gas operations $ 0.00 $ (0.09)
 Net income (loss) per
 common share $ 0.23 $ (0.45)
 Weighted average common
 common shares outstanding 35,116 33,931
 -0- 10/28/93
 /CONTACT: Byron Welliver, senior vice president-finance and treasurer of Noble Drilling Corporation, 713-974-3131/
 (NDCO)


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

TM -- NY142 -- 8246 10/28/93 19:04 EDT
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Date:Oct 28, 1993
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