Tulsa’s Helmerich & Payne reported first quarter earnings of $97 million or 91 cents a diluted share from operating revenues of $720 million, increase from the $46 million and 42 cents a diluted share from the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2022.
The firm’s moving ahead with growing operations in the Middle East, Argentina and Australia.
The company’s North America Solutions recorded the $53 million increase over the fourth quarter. Direct margins grew by $57 million to nearly $260 million as revenues increased by $75 million to $627b million and expenses gained by $18 million to $367 million.
The segment exited the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 with 184 active rigs reflecting an increase in revenue per day of approximately $3.500 or 12% to $33,000 a day. The company anticipates exiting the second quarter of the fiscal year with 183 to 188 active rigs and the ability to reach 191 rigs.
Net cash increased too, reaching $185 million in the first quarter compared to $117 million from the previous quarter.
“Almost a year has passed since we set into motion plans to achieve revenue per day in excess of $30,000 and direct margins of 50% in our NAS segment,” President and CEO John Lindsay commented.
“The company has made significant headway in just a year which has generated considerable shareholder value. Our first fiscal quarter results of 2023 show another strong sequential improvement in our financial performance and the continuation of momentum established in fiscal 2022.”
Helmerich & Payne plans to maintain its plan of adding no more than 16 incremental rigs to the NAS rig count during the current fiscal year. Leadership anticipates a growing revenue during the year as well.
Lindsay also revealed the firm is moving forward on several fronts to set it up for future growth. Preparations to send a super-spec rig to Australia are underway as is the completion of its planned super-spec upgrades in Argentina.
“Efforts to grow our Middle East presence continue with the pursuit of additional work in the region and our operational hub, which should be stood up during the last half of fiscal 2023,” added Lindsay. Six rigs are expected to be exported to the Middle East.
Eight rigs were decommissioned in Argentina and the company incurred a $12 million impairment charge.
Like most other major oil and gas firms, Helmerich & Payne continues forward with a strong share buyback plan. Senior Vice President and CFO Mark Smith said since the start of the new fiscal year, the company has bought back nearly 1.3 million shares for roughly $60 million.
“Additionally, our evergreen authorization to repurchase up to 4 million shares in any calendar year was increased for calendar 2023 by 1 million shares by our Board of Directors bringing the 2023 authorization to 5 million shares.”