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High Arctic Energy Services Inc (2)
Symbol C : HWO
Shares Issued 54,906,552
Close 2015-11-12 C$ 3.95
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High Arctic Energy earns $6.1-million in Q3

2015-11-12 20:25 ET - News Release

Mr. Tim Braun reports

HIGH ARCTIC CLOSE TO DOUBLES ADJUSTED EBITDA TO $18.7 MILLION

High Arctic Energy Services Inc. is releasing its operating and financial results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2015.

Tim Braun, High Arctic's chief executive officer, stated: "The corporation continues to strengthen its balance sheet in a challenging period for the energy services industry. Rig 116 earning revenue in the quarter, coupled with full utilization of the other three rigs in PNG, stable Canadian utilization and a stronger U.S. dollar, resulted in quarter-over-quarter EBITDA growth. High Arctic maintains an enviable position amongst its peers and is well positioned in the ongoing cycle of low commodity prices."

Highlights:

  • Third quarter 2015 adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $18.7-million was almost double that of the prior year (2014, $9.8-million).
  • Revenues earned in the third quarter of 2015 increased by 42 per cent to $58.5-million, from the $41.3-million earned in the same period in 2014.
  • The corporation expects its investment in two modern heli-portable drilling rigs to continue to deliver contracted growth with large independents and major E&P companies.
  • As part of its growth strategy, the corporation intends to be an active participant in the consolidation of the oil field services market. During the third quarter, High Arctic commenced investing in select public companies that it believes are strategic opportunities. With continued soft markets, the corporation may add to these positions.
  • High Arctic declared monthly dividends totalling $8.2-million during the first nine months of 2015, representing a trailing 12-month dividend payout of 23 per cent of funds provided from operations (2014, $6.7-million, 21 per cent).

                SELECTED COMPARATIVE FINANCIAL INFORMATION
           (in millions of dollars, except per-share amounts)

                                    Three months ended     Nine months ended
                                              Sept. 30,             Sept. 30,
                                       2015       2014       2015       2014

Revenue                             $  58.5    $  41.3    $ 151.9    $ 125.6
EBITDA                                 14.0        8.3       36.9       34.0
Adjusted EBITDA                        18.7        9.8       43.2       36.0
Operating earnings                     13.9        6.4       31.0       25.6
Net earnings                            6.1        3.7       18.1       19.7
Per share (basic)                   $  0.11    $  0.07    $  0.33    $  0.39
Per share (diluted)                 $  0.11    $  0.07    $  0.32    $  0.39
Adjusted net earnings                  10.2       3.7        22.2       19.7
Per share (basic)                   $  0.18    $  0.07    $  0.40    $  0.39
Per share (diluted)                 $  0.18    $  0.07    $  0.40    $  0.39
Funds provided from operations         14.3        7.6       33.0       30.5
Per share (basic)                   $  0.26    $  0.14       0.60    $  0.61
Per share (diluted)                 $  0.26    $  0.14       0.59    $  0.60
Dividends                               2.7        2.4        8.2        6.7
Capital expenditures                    2.9       36.8       39.4       41.0
Working capital                                              35.5       44.8
Total assets                                                239.5      178.8
Total non-current financial liabilities                       9.0          -
Net cash, end of period                                      12.5       46.0

Outlook

High Arctic's business activities are reasonably resilient in the continuing low-commodity-price environment. The majority of drilling activity is associated with LNG development in PNG and the country's vast reserves of gas are some of the most competitive globally. A large percentage of the company's Canadian activity is with larger exploration and development companies, which has benefited High Arctic in the current cycle.

There continues to be strong demand for top-tier drilling services in PNG. The company has a history of contract renewals over nine years with its customer on the basis of continuous improvements in quality and value. Management has pro-actively begun discussions with its customer for rig 103 and 104 contract renewals in June, 2016.

Rig 103 will be fully used through the remainder of 2015, completing its current well in the Gulf province of PNG, and then is expected to move to a two-well project in the Western province for a new customer. Rig 104 is currently completing a well in the PNG highlands and is then scheduled to move to an additional well in the Western province. Thereafter, it is anticipated it will be moved to the P'nyang field in the Western highlands of PNG.

Rig 115 completed drilling its first well on the customer's wholly owned lease. The rig has been assigned to drill one firm and one option well for the customer's joint venture partner in the Elk/Antelope field. With this assignment, High Arctic continues to expand its customer base in PNG. Upon completion of these wells, the rig will revert back to the original customer under its take-or-pay contract.

The second heli-portable rig that High Arctic purchased in 2014, rig 116, arrived in Papua New Guinea during the quarter slightly earlier than the company had forecasted. The rig is currently in Port Moresby and mobilization to its first location is expected to commence in mid-2016, once the customer has finalized their drilling plans. Rig 116 is under a take-or-pay contract currently earning standby rates and the contract will continue until two years after the first well is spudded.

The fleet of rental equipment in PNG continues to be sufficient for the current level of drilling activity. Matting utilization is expected to be just over 60 per cent throughout the remainder of 2015, similar to the utilization during the fourth quarter of 2015. Utilization in the first half of 2016 will drop to the mid-50-per-cent range as a number of mats will come off their existing contracts and be waiting to be redeployed when rig 116 mobilizes to its first location. Management continues to evaluate new opportunities for expansion and redeployment of rental assets.

Although year-over-year Canadian equipment utilization is down, the Canadian operations are expected to remain profitable in the fourth quarter as the business infrastructure has been adjusted to match the current demand for equipment and services.

Looking to 2016, as part of its growth strategy, the company intends to be an active participant in the consolidation of the oil field services market. During the third quarter, High Arctic commenced investing in select public companies that it believes are strategic opportunities. With continued soft markets, the corporation may add to these positions.

High Arctic's contracted status in Papua New Guinea, the strong U.S.-dollar exchange rate, continued delivery of high-quality service and similar year-over-year demand in Canada should result in further EBITDA growth, when compared with 2015.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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