Grant Prideco Earnings Jump

For fiscal 2006, the company expects earnings in the range of $2.40 to $2.60 a share.
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Oilfield-equipment maker

Grant Prideco's

(GRP)

fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled from a year ago, as its bottom-line growth was led by higher revenue across all of its business segments.

The company earned $78.4 million, or 59 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $28.6 million, or 23 cents a share, a year ago. Earnings include a gain of 4 cents a share from the reversal of a deferred tax-valuation reserve. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to earn 52 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 37.3% from a year ago to $388.7 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $377.3 million.

For the year, the company earned $189 million, or $1.45 a share, on revenue of $1.35 billion. In the previous year, the company posted profits of $55.3 million, or 44 cents a share, on revenue of $945.6 million.

While revenue from drilling products and services climbed 36% to $173 million, revenue from drill bits rose 25% to $114.4 million, mainly because of an 18% increase in the worldwide rig count and improved pricing. The company's backlog rose to a record $813.6 million, up from $742.5 million at the end of the previous quarter.

For the fiscal year 2006, the company expects earnings in the range of $2.40 to $2.60 a share, including stock-option expenses of 2 cents a share. Analysts are calling for a profit of $2.57 a share.

"We are pleased to report record results for the quarter and for the year," the company said. "Continued strong drilling activity, along with internal efficiencies, has resulted in operating income margins of at least 27% in each of our three operating segments."

Giant Prideco's shares were trading at $45.99, down $2.46, or 5.1%.

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