* Q3 shr loss C$0.10 vs EPS C$0.21 yr ago
* Rev falls 34 pct
* Says sees slow return of price control in mid-2010 (Adds details, analysts’ comments, updates stock movement)
By Koustav Samanta
BANGALORE, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s Trinidad Drilling Ltd (TDG.TO) posted a quarterly loss, hurt by foreign exchange losses and lower utilization rates, and said it sees a slow return of price control towards mid-2010.
The drilling equipment maker said it moved two new rigs to its U.S. operations, redeployed four existing under-utilized rigs to Mexico and one rig to Chile, all under long-term take-or-pay contracts.
CIBC World Markets analyst Jeff Fetterly said Trinidad’s continued expansion into the U.S. and international markets would provide broader commodity exposure to the company.
“International component is a small portion of their business but it provides good growth opportunity going forward,” Fetterly said by phone.
The company has 53 rigs operating in Canada, 58 in the United States, seven in Mexico and one in Chile, it said on a conference call with analysts.
“The company is moving towards becoming a premier North American contract driller,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Michael Mazar.
For the third quarter, Trinidad reported a net loss of C$12.1 million, or 10 Canadian cents a share, compared with earnings of C$20.4 million, or 21 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell 34 percent to C$126.1 million.
Analysts on average expected earnings of 3 Canadian cents, before special items, on revenue of C$138.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Drilling utilization rates in Canada fell to 36 percent from 63 percent a year ago, while utilization rates at U.S. and other international drilling operations fell to 61 percent from 85 percent.
Trinidad said it recognized a foreign exchange loss of C$11.4 million, compared with a gain of C$6.8 million, a year earlier.
The company said it does not expect to see an immediate recovery in the oil and gas sector.
Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company were down 3 percent at C$6.79 Wednesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)