TULSA, Okla., Jan. 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) reported net income of $173.2 million ($1.59 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $889.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to net income of $159.6 million ($1.48 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $844.6 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2013, and net income of $159.8 million ($1.47 per diluted share) from operating revenues of $864.5 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Included in net income corresponding to this year's first fiscal quarter and to last year's fourth fiscal quarter were $0.03 per diluted share of after-tax gains related to the sale of used drilling equipment. Included in net income corresponding to last year's first fiscal quarter were $0.03 per diluted share of after-tax gains related to the sale of used drilling equipment and $0.05 per diluted share of after-tax gains related to the sale of investment securities. The Company also announced today that it has entered into agreements with four exploration and production companies to build and operate nine additional FlexRigs®* in the U.S. All of these rigs were ordered under multi-year term contracts and are expected to generate attractive economic returns for the Company. This brings the total number of new build commitments announced in fiscal 2014 to 35 new FlexRigs, including 22 new FlexRigs since the Company's last earnings release. Chairman and CEO Hans Helmerich commented, "It is satisfying to once again report record quarterly levels in both revenue and operating income. We have also continued to see signs of market improvement in the U.S., both in terms of spot pricing and demand for additional FlexRigs. The flexibility afforded by our new build construction capabilities is allowing us to quickly respond to this renewed level of market demand. We are pleased to be able to announce an additional nine fully contracted new builds, bringing our fiscal year-to-date total to 35. We are confident in the Company's ability to continue to capture market share, create differentiated value for our customers, and deliver attractive returns for our shareholders."