April 10, 2012 / 2:59 PM / 6 years ago

Gasfrac shares slide on weak outlook

April 10 (Reuters) - Gasfrac Energy Services Inc’s shares fell 22 percent after the fracking services provider forecast sequentially lower first-quarter revenue on weak margins, prompting at least two brokerages to downgrade the stock.

The company had posted fourth-quarter results below analysts’ expectation hurt by operational delays in its three-year contract with Husky Energy Inc.

“The Husky contract continues to ramp up more slowly than anticipated,” BMO Capital Markets analysts Michael Mazar said.

“U.S. operations were looking very promising with the addition of new customers in new regions but this has not translated into better financial performance.”

Mazar slashed his rating on the stock to “underperform” from “outperform” and lowered his target price to C$6 from C$10.

GasFrac expects its first-quarter revenue to be 25 percent lower than the fourth quarter due to early spring break-up in Canada and low activity in the United States.

“While an early break-up does affect ... much more concern is the equipment that did little to no work in the six busy weeks during the quarter,” TD Securities analysts Scott Treadwell said.

He cut his rating on the stock to “reduce” from “hold” and reduced the target price by C$1.5 to C$6.

Gasfrac shares were trading down 19 percent at C$5.40 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange after touching a low of C$5.31 earlier in the session. The stock was the top percentage loser on the exchange. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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