November 4, 2011 / 11:34 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-North American drilling boom drives Pason profit

(Adds forecast, background)

* Q3 EPS C$0.35 vs est C$0.23

* Q3 rev up 29 pct, beats est

* Raises HY div by 11 pct

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Pason Systems Inc posted its biggest ever profit, comfortably beating analysts’ expectations, driven by a drilling boom in North America and the oilfield instruments company hiked its half-yearly dividend by 11 percent.

The Calgary-based company, whose services include data acquisition, wellsite reporting software and remote communications, expects drilling activity to remain strong next year, shrugging off concerns over depressed natural gas prices.

Pason is benefiting from increased drilling activity despite recent volatility in oil prices as explorers spend heavily to boost output from unconventional oil and rich natural-gas liquids fields like the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken that is spread across North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan.

July-September profit rose to C$28.5 million, or 35 Canadian cents a share, from C$11.9 million, or 15 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 29 percent to C$88.7 million.

Three analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 23 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$82.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company raised its semi-annual dividend to 20 Canadian cents a share, from 18 Canadian cents a share.

The company, which has a market value of $1.1 billion, also budgeted capital expenditures at C$101.6 million for the next 12 months.

Shares of the company closed at C$13.56 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian, Viraj Nair)

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