WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Land drilling contractor Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR), Tuesday posted a loss for the fourth quarter, hurt mainly by an hefty charge related to the CEO change and impairments of certain natural gas assets up for sale.
The results for the quarter were impacted by a $100 million contingent liability related to the change of Nabors' chief executive officer. Former Chief Executive Eugene Isenberg was entitled to the hefty termination fee on the appointment of a new CEO in October. However, Isenber later agreed to terminate his employment pact and waived this claim. Instead, the company indicated plans to make contributions to charity in lieu.
The recent fourth quarter results also include loss from discontinued operations of $194.0 million or $0.66 per share due primarily to impairments against certain of the company's natural gas assets as well as a small number of fixed assets in the US and Canada that are being actively marketed for sale.
Nabors recently had revealed plans to monetize its exploration and production assets. The company said it has accelerated such efforts to reduce its debt.
Chief Executive Tony Petrello said, 'Accelerating monetization of our oil and gas assets to enhance the flexibility of our balance sheet has been a priority since October.'
Petrello also indicated reviewing the strategic fit, execution effectiveness and rate-of-return for every business unit.
'This process will likely result in modifications to the alignment and scope of our services over the course of the year. This realignment will result in two lines of business: drilling and rig-related operations that are involved in well construction; and pressure pumping, workover/well-servicing and fluids management operations that conduct well completion and maintenance,' Petrello added.
Nabors' net loss for the fourth quarter was $105.8 million or $0.36 per share, compared to net income of $50.5 million or $0.17 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Net income from continuing operations dropped to $89.5 million or $0.30 per share from $152.1 million or $0.52 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding the charge related to CEO change, earnings from continued operations were $0.52 per share for the quarter. On average, 27 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.50 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total revenues for the quarter grew to $1.74 billion from $1.32 billion last year. Nineteen Street analysts on a consensus estimated revenues of $1.72 billion.
Looking forward, Nabor said the business outlook for North America drilling and production/well services businesses looks promising, despite a weaker natural gas environment. The company expects its International, US Offshore and Alaska units perform better in 2012.
NBR closed Tuesday's trading on the NYSE at $20.36, down $0.44 or 2.12%. The stock further lost $0.09 or 0.44% in after-hours trade.
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