Nabors Industries Inc. on Thursday reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings
, propelled by a surge in demand for its drilling rig fleet and services.
The Houston-based driller earned $.51 per diluted share on a quarterly record operating income of $124 million, compared with $.12 a share on $33.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call
had estimated first-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share.
evenues for the quarter reached $513.8 million compared with $279.1 million in the prior year.
"These results only begin to demonstrate our potential, with global rig utilization
at only 60 percent during the quarter and average pricing still well short of current leading edge rates," company officials said.