Pride International Profit Rises

The first quarter beats by 12 cents.
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Pride International

(PDE)

, a Houston-based drilling contractor, said its first-quarter earnings surged from the year-ago period, helped by an increase in dayrates for all types of company's rigs.

The company earned $70.55 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $18.30 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusting for gain on sale of assets, the company earned 40 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating earnings of 29 cents a share for the latest quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 21.6% from a year ago to $566.92 million as against analysts' expectation of $558.23 million.

During the first quarter, the average daily revenue for the company's drillships and semi-submersibles increased to about $135,800 compared with about $119,800 in the first quarter of 2005, which led to a $11 million increase to earnings from operations. The average daily revenue of the company's worldwide jackup fleet increased to about $64,800 compared with $40,100 in the first quarter 2005. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico jackups increased during the first quarter to $91,800, up from $38,200 during the first quarter 2005.

"We are pleased with our results for the first quarter which reflect the strength of the offshore drilling market, particularly in the shallow water U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as we recontract our rigs at record dayrates," said Louis A. Raspino, president and chief executive officer. "Continuing robust demand for both deepwater and shallow water units indicates that the current favorable market conditions are likely to continue for an extended period of time."

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