Nabors Drills Estimates

The first-quarter profit doubles from a year ago.
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Contract driller

Nabors

(NBR) - Get Report

said first-quarter earnings doubled from a year ago, beating estimates.

For the quarter ended March 31, Nabors made $257 million, or 79 cents a share, up from the year-ago $127 million, or 40 cents a share. Revenue rose to $1.17 billion from $786 million a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 74-cent profit on sales of $1.11 billion.

Nabors said it had 104 three-year term commitments for new Pace rigs from quality customers. This exceeds its previously stated expectation of 100 by mid-2007.

"This underwritten growth in our fleet not only serves to enhance future income and returns on capital, but also provides an unprecedented degree of visibility," said CEO Gene Isenberg. "It further speaks to our customer's acceptance of the capabilities of these rigs, as well as their confidence in the long-term nature of the current cycle. The opportunities for additional rigs continue to be abundant, with many small and large-scale projects under discussion both domestically and internationally."