Precision Drilling holding steady with dividend payment despite tough market

CALGARY – Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD) is maintaining its dividend amid difficult market conditions that have driven down its revenue and profit.

The Calgary-based drilling company’s net income fell to $93 million or 33 cents per diluted share, down 16 per cent from the first quarter of 2012.

Its revenue dropped by seven per cent to $596 million, mainly due to lower North American drilling activity compared with the first quarter of 2012.

Nevertheless, the results were ahead of analyst estimates and Precision Drilling will pay a quarterly dividend of five cents per share on May 15.

That will be the second payout to shareholders since the Calgary-based company announced in December that it would institute a quarterly dividend but reduce capital spending this year.

Precision Drilling said Thursday that the decline in North American drilling activity was partly offset by higher rates for its services and increased activity abroad.

Analysts had estimated 28 cents per share of net income and $593 million of revenue, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters.