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Nabors posts higher 1st-qtr profit, revenue

The Associated Press

Drilling contractor Nabors Industries Ltd. said Tuesday that its profit grew 62 percent in the first quarter, as its revenue grew and it booked gains from investments.

The company reported net income of $134.1 million, or 46 cents a share, for the three months ended March 31. That compares with net income of $82.8 million, or 28 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

Stripping out the impact of discontinued operations, adjusted net income came to 49 cents a share.

Total revenue for the latest quarter jumped to $1.84 billion from $1.4 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had been anticipating, on average, adjusted earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $1.8 billion, according to FactSet.

Nabors' results included $18.5 million, or 5 cents a share, in one-time gains from investments. The company also booked a charge of $68.2 million, or 16 cents a share, representing its share of impairments incurred by affiliate NFR Energy.

President and CEO Tony Petrello said that weak gas pricing in North America has made Nabors' customers hesitant to begin projects.

But the impact on Nabors is being mitigated somewhat by the company's long-term contracts, Petrello said.

"While we are fully aware of the challenges associated with the weaker natural gas environment and an oversupplied pressure pumping market, we expect healthy results for 2012," he said.

Nabors Industries Ltd. is registered in Bermuda but has its headquarters in Houston.

Its shares ended regular trading up 23 cents at $15.95. The stock added 43 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $16.38 after hours following the earnings report.