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RPC Profit Falls, But Tops Estimate; Stock Up - Update

Oilfield services and equipment provider RPC Inc. (RES), Wednesday reported a lower fourth-quarter profit with reduced activity levels and competitive pricing putting pressure on revenues.

However, the company's quarterly earnings as well as revenues came in above Street estimates, sending its shares up by more than five percent in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

RPC Chief Executive Richard Hubbell while admitting the challenging conditions prevalent in the U.S. domestic market, added that a lower rig count, the impact of holiday downtime and equipment relocation, impacted revenue and profit.

Atlanta, Georgia-based RPC reported fourth-quarter net profit of $55 million or $0.26 per share, compared with $74.6 million or $0.34 per share last year.

On average, 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.24 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

RPC said revenues for the quarter slid 2.7 percent to $470 million from $483 million last year. Analysts expected revenues of $453.83 million for the quarter.

Among segments, technical services revenues edged down 2 percent, and support services down by 9.4 percent.

RPC's costs as a percentage of revenues were higher during the quarter, owing to increased raw material costs and competitive pricing. Further, increased employment costs pushed up its administrative costs by six percent.

RPC said its Board has increased its regular quarterly cash dividend by 25 percent to $0.10 per share, payable on March 8 to common stockholders of record on February 8.

RPC is trading at $14.37, up 5.04%, on a volume of about 0.7 million shares on the NYSE.

by RTT Staff Writer

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