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Precision Drilling profit plunges, misses analyst estimates

Workers at a Precision Drilling rig.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Precision Drilling Corp. saw its third-quarter profit drop 53 per cent compared with the same time last year as revenue fell below analyst estimates and a foreign-exchange loss reduced earnings.

The Calgary-based company, which operates drilling rigs throughout Canada and the United States, said its net income fell to $39-million or 14 cents per share, down from $83-million or 29 cents per share in the third quarter of 2011.

Precision Drilling's revenue was also short of analyst estimates but fell a more moderate 1.7 per cent to $484.8-million from $492.9-million a year earlier.

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Analysts had been looking for 19 cents per share and $497.9-million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Precision Drilling said the quarter included a foreign-exchange loss that reduced net earnings by $4-million or one cent per share.

In the comparable period of 2011, the company's bottom line was helped by a foreign-exchange gain that added $25-million or 9 cents per share to profit.

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