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Ensign shares jump as driller notes lower loss, higher revenue in third quarter

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CALGARY, A.B. – Shares in Ensign Energy Services Inc. rose about eight percent on Monday morning after it reported a smaller loss in its third quarter compared with a year ago, while revenue grew 17 percent.

The drilling company says it lost $32.8 million or 21 cents per share on revenue of $289 million, compared with a loss of $36.5 million or 23 cents per share on revenue of $247 million in the third quarter of 2017.

The results closely matched analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

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Ensign, which moved a drilling rig from Canada into the U.S. earlier this year, reported third-quarter revenue from activity in Canada dropped by 11 percent from last year, while U.S. revenue rose by 30 percent.

Last week, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada predicted a total of 6,600 wells will be drilled in Canada in 2019, down about five percent from an expected 6,980 wells this year, adding that translates to a year-over-year decrease of up to $1.8 billion in capital spending by exploration and production companies.

Calgary-based Ensign had no update on its hostile takeover bid of $470-million in cash for cross-town rival Trinidad Drilling Ltd. it launched in August.

Trinidad’s board last month recommended shareholders accept instead an all-shares bid valued at $540 million from Calgary-based Precision Drilling Ltd.

(THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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