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RPC 3Q profit soars as drilling expands

October 26, 2011

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ATLANTA—RPC Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit soared 80 percent on higher demand and prices for its oilfield services and equipment as U.S. drilling expanded.

The Atlanta company earned $83.1 million, or 57 cents per share, between July and September, compared with $46.3 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue jumped 66 percent to $502.2 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a profit of 58 cents per share on revenue of $439.9 million.

The company it focused on expanding its offerings throughout the quarter as demand ratcheted up.

The average U.S. domestic rig count during the third quarter was up nearly 20 percent from last year and up 6 percent from the second quarter. The average price of natural gas fell about 4 percent during the quarter, but the price of oil rose 15 percent.

RPC said utilization also improved during the quarter, further boosting the need for its products and services.

Also Wednesday, the company's board raised its dividend by 25 percent. It plans to pay a dividend of 10 cents on Dec. 9 to shareholders as of Nov. 10. The dividend had been 8 cents.

RPC shares fell about 2 percent in afternoon trading amid a sharp decline in oil prices. The stock lost 32 cents to reach $16.92.