Precision Drilling Corporation Gains Ground In Tough Times

Despite the interest slowdown, PDS is likely to maintain onto its market percentage within the U.S. And Canada in Q2.

However, its rig fleets will drop in Q2 in North America, while global activities have weakened in Q2.

The corporation has adopted several fee-reduction measures; it targets to curb debt drastically and improve coins balance in FY2020.

Its liquidity is satisfactorily strong.

PDS Is Slowing Making Ground


Precision Drilling Corporation (PDS) is probably to advantage marketplace share in North America in Q2 2020 notwithstanding the fall in drilling hobby. While rig fleet can drop once more in Q2, the deployment of the efficient pad-finest rigs and Super Triple rigs will keep margin consistent within the medium-time period. Plus, the commercialization of the technology-primarily based app like AlphaAutomation in international operations will partly mitigate the revenue loss.

However, the agency’s revenues will fall in Q2 following COVID-19 and the drop in electricity demand. Given the PDC’s high leverage, it has set a lofty goal to lower the debt stage and increase coins stability by way of the end of FY2020. On the tremendous note, it has sufficient liquidity and generated high quality FCF in Q1. I do no longer assume the organisation’s returns will grow inside the short-term. However, its monetary overall performance is likely to enhance within the medium-term, that may translate into higher gains from the stock rate in overdue-2020.




From Q4 2019 to Q1 2020, the employer’s shriveled drilling rigs and average sales in keeping with usage day remained regular in the U.S., whilst the common revenue decreased by means of 3% in Canada in Q1. The running fee in step with usage day additionally dropped (3.7% down), which helped improve operating margin consistent with day.

The WTI crude oil charge has rebounded sharply in Q2 up to now after falling steeply in Q1. The U.S. Rig depend, on the other hand, has fallen through ~60% due to the fact that Q1 after it fell by means of ~10% in Q1. The decrease crude oil rate has meditated in decrease completed wells while the DUC (drilled through uncompleted) wells were resilient to date in Q2. Despite the stress all around, PDS has been especially resilient, losing simplest 2% of its shrunk drilling rig fleet within the past year until Q1. In the U.S., it maintained a 7% marketplace share. From February to March, when the U.S. Rig depend has been on a unfastened fall, the organisation’s U.S. marketplace share peaked and held that level till overdue March.

In Q2, the corporation expects to discipline rigs in the variety of decrease-30’s as compared to forty one in March. So, the hobby will continue to be significantly low in comparison to the current peak at the start of the 12 months. However, if the natural gas charge remains corporation, it is able to add some rigs with the aid of the stop of Q2 or in July.

Canada: Activity And Outlook
In Canada, PDS’s average lively rig matter increase in Q1 versus the 2019-average handed the industry pastime increase. As we have seen in recent times, pricing of the natural gasoline liquids (or NGL) performs have been organization in some of the shale performs there, at the same time as a number of the oil sands projects were ramped up in Canada. I defined why the outlook would stay company in Canada in my preceding article. In the quick-time period, however, the heavy-oil associated interest will stay soft in Canada, at the same time as we can anticipate better call for for natural fuel-associated business in Montney and Duvernay.

However, seeing that March, the drilling activity has plummeted over again in Canada. Currently, the enterprise has eleven of the 23 active rigs in that region. Such a low degree of hobby also speaks approximately the seasonality impact. By Q3, the organisation’s control expects its rig count to growth to upper teens-or-low-20’s and can also reach higher-20’s-or-low-30’s with the aid of the quit of the 12 months. Despite sizable price discount, the company has the flexibility to ramp up drilling pastime in Canada in a quick notice, as it did during the begin of the 12 months. The management additionally anticipates the pad-green Super Triple rigs, and the Precision Super Single rigs will dominate the employer’s offerings by using Q2 2020. Overall, scalability and elevated market share will improve the margin in Canada.

However, the business enterprise does assume a number of the pad-ultimate rigs within the enterprise to emerge as economically unviable due to extended capex requirements. The dust pumps, top drives, and rotating machinery had been wiped out because they had been in use for an prolonged period. Some of the business enterprise’s peers have been re-using parts to preserve maintenance fees low, which may additionally turn out to be imprudent whilst activity rebounds within the shales. PDS, on its part, does no longer assume to retire its pad-most suitable fleet or Super Triple fleet in the next couple of years.






The WCS (Western Canada Select)–WTI (West Texas Intermediate) unfold is a crucial indicator of the Canadian electricity companies’ overall performance. The WTI fee of oil averaged $38.52 a barrel from January to April in 2020, which became 32% decrease than a yr ago. WCS averaged $20.11 a barrel between January and April or 56% decrease a 12 months ago. Since the unfold improved (i.E., the spread shriveled) in April compared to January, it had a positive impact at the margin in Q1.

International Growth Outlook
No doubt, the pandemic led slowdown will adversely have an effect on PDS’s international operation, however it would nevertheless outperform North America in Q2. In Kuwait, the employer might also see a delay within the re-contract of the two drilling rigs up for renewal overdue this yr. In Saudi Arabia, three of its rigs are expected to perform for the overall yr. Also, project activities in Iraq can get disrupted for the duration of the yr due to political reasons.

Technological Edges
In my previous article, I discussed the commercialization of the Process Automation Control (or PAC) platform and the PD-Apps underneath development that may be commercialized. The enterprise’s AlphaAutomation device has a couple of sales-generating points in drilling functions, tripping functions, and survey functions. During Q1, it multiplied the AlphaAutomation coverage by means of including six rigs. However, decrease demand in the market will pull back further initiatives to deploy any extra of such rigs. So, the company’s pinnacle-line boom capacity via technology-primarily based services are capped within the brief-term.

Cost Reduction Initiatives
Triggered by means of the fall in call for because of the after-effect of COVID-19, PDS has implemented various price-slicing measures, inclusive of workforce, income and benefit reductions, and decrease capex. It has slashed journey and entertainment budgets, along with a decrease in administrative fees. On top of that, the organisation expects to benefit from government programs (e.G., employee assistance and tax deferrals) with a purpose to provide ~$20 million in additional cash this yr. Overall, the postponement and lower capex budgets are anticipated to save $100 million for the company in FY2020.




Despite the headwinds in the U.S. Onshore, PDS’s pinnacle-line became regular in Q1. Its Contract Drilling Services segment sales extended by means of 2% in Q1 2020 over a quarter ago. The Completion and Production Services revenues fell by using 4% for the duration of the same period. The business enterprise’s adjusted income according to share were $0.01, which turned into deterioration in comparison to an EPS of $0.04 in keeping with percentage 1 / 4 ago. A 30% discount in U.S. pastime and severance and restructuring fees associated to cost reduction initiatives caused the fall inside the bottom-line in Q1.



PDS intends to convert $eighty million-$100 million of running capital to coins in FY2020. In Q1 2020, its coins go with the flow from operations accelerated by 85% as compared to a yr ago. Although year-over-yr revenues decreased, the sharp upward thrust in CFO displays favorable changes in working capital. In the past year, the company’s capex decreased significantly, main to sturdy loose cash go with the flow in Q1 2020.

The organisation’s leverage (debt-to-equity ratio) of 0.97x is better than its peers’ (HP, NBR, PTEN) common of 0.73x. The to be had liquidity ($798 million) covers the medium-term debt discount goal. Read more approximately the balance sheet and debt reduction in my preceding article.

What Does The Relative Valuation Say?


Precision Drilling Corporation is presently buying and selling at an EV-to-adjusted EBITDA more than one of 5.1x. The ahead EV/EBITDA multiple is higher, which means a lower EBITDA within the next 4 quarters. From FY2015 until now, the employer’s common EV/EBITDA more than one become 10.3x. So, it is currently trading at a reduction to its past common.

According to Seeking Alpha, PDS’s ahead EV-to-EBITDA multiple growth versus the adjusted trailing 12-month EV/EBITDA is much less steep as compared to peers, which generally consequences in a better EV/EBITDA a couple of compared to peers. The corporation’s EV/EBITDA more than one is better than its peers’ (HP, NBR, and PTEN) average of 4.0x.






According to statistics supplied through Seeking Alpha, 8 sell-facet analysts rated PDS a “buy” in June (includes “very bullish”), at the same time as seven recommended a “maintain.” Two of them rated it a “sell” (includes “very bearish.”) The consensus goal rate is $0.78, which at the current price, yields 1% returns.

What’s The Take On PDS?
After downsizing its rig fleet drastically within the past year, PDS has stored its U.S. And Canadian fleet exceedingly constant in comparison to the steep rig depend fall within the enterprise. As a result, it expanded its marketplace share in North America. While the rig fleet is anticipated to drop again in Q2, it's miles probably to outperform the industry due to the deployment of the efficient pad-most fulfilling rigs and Super Triple rigs, particularly in the natural gasoline-heavy shales. The organization has also began commercializing the technology-primarily based app like AlphaAutomation in worldwide operations. However, I suppose, the employer’s sales from the global commercial enterprise will fall in Q2 because of the outcomes of lockdown and the resultant drop in energy call for.

The greater pressing goal for the company has been decreasing the debt degree through fee reductions and monetization of running capital. It targets to lessen debt by ~$one hundred fifty million in FY2020 and growth coins balance to hold liquidity. Given the PDC’s high leverage, the organisation ought to easy up the balance sheet. Although it has enough liquidity and generated high quality FCF in Q1, lower leverage can increase its relative valuation within the oilfield offerings space.

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