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Pioneer narrows losses on debt recovery

Pioneer Drilling posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss as a bad debt recovery helped cushion the impact of lower utilisation rates for its rigs.

For the third quarter, the company posted a net loss of $9.2 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with earnings of $24.2 million, or 48 cents, a year ago.

Revenue fell about 57% to $74.4 million.

Analysts, on average, expected the company to post a loss of 22 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $67.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Quarterly utilisation rate for the company’s drilling rigs averaged 35%, down from 96% in the year-ago period.

Pioneer said its results were boosted by a bad debt recovery of $1.3 million.

Utilisation is showing modest improvement at 38% in the current fourth quarter, the company said.

Shares of the San Antonio, Texas-based company closed at $6.86 yesterday on the American Stock Exchange.