CALGARY – Shares in Ensign Energy Services Inc. closed about eight per cent higher at $5.49 Monday after it reported a smaller loss in its third quarter compared with a year ago, while revenue grew 17 per cent.
The drilling company says it lost $32.8 million or 21 cents per share on revenue of $289 million, compared with a loss of $36.5 million or 23 cents per share on revenue of $247 million in the third quarter of 2017.
The results closely matched analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.
Ensign, which moved a drilling rig from Canada into the U.S. earlier this year, reported third-quarter revenue from activity in Canada dropped by 11 per cent from last year, while U.S. revenue rose by 30 per cent.
Last week, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada predicted a total of 6,600 wells will be drilled in Canada in 2019, down about five per cent from an expected 6,980 wells this year, adding that translates to a year-over-year decrease of up to $1.8 billion in capital spending by exploration and production companies.
Calgary-based Ensign had no update on its hostile takeover bid of $470-million in cash for cross-town rival Trinidad Drilling Ltd. it launched in August.
Trinidad’s board last month recommended shareholders accept instead an all-shares bid valued at $540 million from Calgary-based Precision Drilling Ltd.