July 4, 2012 / 3:19 PM / in 6 years

Trican shares plunge after earnings warning

* Trican shares down 9.7 pct after earnings warning

* Company sees Q2 loss of up to C$0.42/shr

* Analysts had expected C$0.05/shr loss

* Trican blames weakness in Canadian, U.S. operations

CALGARY, Alberta, July 4 (Reuters) - Shares of Trican Well Service Ltd fell as much as 15 percent on Wednesday after the company, which performs hydraulic fracturing on oil and gas wells, warned that wet spring weather and falling capital spending by its customers would push it to a second-quarter loss.

Shares in the company were down C$1.16 at C$11.06 at midmorning on the Toronto Stock Exchange after earlier touching C$10.39.

Trican said late on Tuesday that wet weather in Western Canada and rising costs and increased competition for its U.S. operations meant it would report a second quarter loss of C$24 million ($23.7 million) to C$34 million, or 32 to 42 Canadian cents a share.

The company had been expected to report an operating loss of 5 Canadian cents a share, according to the average of analyst forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In its release, Trican said the wet spring weather in Western Canada reduced drilling and led to the delay of a major fracking project in the Horn River shale-gas field in northeastern British Columbia.

Falling oil prices also reduced drilling in both Canada and the United States, pushing down prices for fracking services even as the cost of guar, a key fracking agent, rose.

“Average guar costs increased sequentially in the second quarter and we were largely unable to pass these costs on to our customers due to the competitive pricing environment,” Trican said.

The company said it may idle crews and equipment in the United States if conditions remain weak. It said it expects Canadian demand for its services to be strong in the second half of the year.

The warning prompted several analysts to cut their ratings on Trican’s shares. Shares of fracking rival Calfrac Well Services Ltd also fell after Trican’s warning, dropping C$1.69, or 7 percent, to C$22.55.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Peter Galloway

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