Patterson-UTI (PTEN) Q4 Loss in Line with Estimates

Onshore contract driller Patterson-UTI Energy Inc.PTEN reported loss per share of 53 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. A pick-up in drilling activity was offset by tight margins.

However, Patterson-UTI's performance deteriorated from the year-ago loss of 40 cents per share.

Revenues of $246.9 million were down 27% from the year-ago quarter but were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $236 million.

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. Quote

Segmental Performance

Contract Drilling: This segment's revenues totaled $136.1 million (55% of total revenue), down 33% year over year.

Average revenues per operating day decreased to $21,640 from $24,240 in the fourth quarter of 2015, while average direct costs per operating day came in at $13,770, up from $12,640 in the year-ago quarter.

The segment was also impacted by a steep decline in both the operating days (from 8,344 to 6,288) and the number of rigs operational (from 91 to 68) on the back of severe stress in the oil and gas industry.

Consequently, the segment recorded operating loss of $62.5 million - wider than the loss of $25.5 million incurred in the year-earlier quarter.

Pressure Pumping: Revenues of $105.6 million were down 20% year over year. Moreover, the segment reported a loss of $40.1 million, worsening from the loss of $37.8 million in the prior-year quarter. Despite recent improvements, the segment continues to be weighed down by tight spending from exploration and production firms that impacted activity levels. To make matters worse, even the work that has been available is making less profits.

Other Operations: Revenues came in at $5.2 million, 12% higher than the year-ago quarter. The rebound in commodity prices meant that the unit incurred a narrower quarterly loss of $1.1 million, as against the loss of $3.2 million recorded in year-ago quarter.

Direct Operating Costs

The company - which counts Nabors Industries Ltd. NBR , Helmerich & Payne Inc. HP and Precision Drilling Corp. PDS as its peers - reported direct operating expenses of $189.4 million, reflecting a 17% decrease from $226.8 million reported in the year-ago quarter.

Capital Expenditure & Balance Sheet

During the quarter, Patterson-UTI spent approximately $39.3 million on capital programs (as against $135.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015). Capital expenditure for the full-year 2016 came in at $119.8 million (down 84% from 2015).

As of Dec 31, 2016, the company had $35.2 million in cash and $598.4 million in long-term debt.


Patterson-UTI management remains upbeat over its business following the recovery in land rig count and the recent bullishness in activity and pricing. In fact, the company sees 2017 as an exciting year in the making.

Patterson-UTI expects an average of 44 rigs to be operational under term contracts during the first quarter and 37 for the entire 2017. In pressure pumping, the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company expects first quarter revenues to rise 25% from the fourth quarter. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Patterson-UTI pegged its 2017 capital spending projection at $350 million.

Zacks' Best Private Investment Ideas

In addition to the recommendations that are available to the public on our website, how would you like to follow all Zacks' private buys and sells in real time?

Our experts cover all kinds of trades… from value to momentum . . . from stocks under $10 to ETF and option moves . . . from stocks that corporate insiders are buying up to companies that are about to report positive earnings surprises. You can even look inside exclusive portfolios that are normally closed to new investors. Starting today, for the next month, you can have unrestricted access. Click here for Zacks' private trades >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (PTEN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR): Free Stock Analysis Report

Precision Drilling Corporation (PDS): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


    Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

    Learn More