TULSA, Okla., Jan. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) reported record income from continuing operations of $159,611,000 ($1.48 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $844,572,000 for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to income from continuing operations of $144,297,000 ($1.32 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $732,588,000 during the first fiscal quarter of 2012, and income from continuing operations of $149,606,000 ($1.39 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $829,447,000 during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. Included in income from continuing operations for the first fiscal quarters of 2013 and 2012, and for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012, is income (after-tax) related to the sale of used drilling assets and investment securities of $0.08, $0.03 and $0.03 per diluted share, respectively. Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was also reported at a record level of $159,603,000 ($1.48 per diluted share), compared to net income of $144,286,000 ($1.32 per diluted share) during the first fiscal quarter of 2012, and net income of $157,115,000 ($1.46 per diluted share) during the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012.
Segment operating income for U.S. land operations was $234,388,000 for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, compared with $224,706,000 for last year's first fiscal quarter and $236,619,000 for last year's fourth fiscal quarter. As compared to the prior year's fourth fiscal quarter, the number of revenue days for the segment sequentially decreased by 208 to 21,743. The average rig revenue per day decreased by $285 to $28,040 during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, but the decline was mostly attributable to lower revenue from early termination fees during the first fiscal quarter. Also as compared to the prior year's fourth fiscal quarter, average rig expense per day for the segment increased by $14 to $12,634 during the first fiscal quarter, resulting in a $299 average rig margin per day decline to $15,406. The rig revenue and margin per day averages included $37 per day of early termination fees during the first fiscal quarter of 2013 as compared to $283 per day during the previous quarter. Rig utilization for the Company's U.S. land segment was 82% for this year's first fiscal quarter, compared with 91% for last year's first fiscal quarter and 85% for last year's fourth fiscal quarter. At December 31, 2012, the Company's U.S. land segment had 239 contracted rigs (including 161 under term contracts) and 54 idle rigs.
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