* Q4 EPS C$0.15 vs est C$0.17
* Q4 rev C$278.7 mln vs est C$277.4 mln
* Sees lower contribution from Canadian operations in 2010
March 15 (Reuters) - Ensign Energy Services Inc (ESI.TO) reported quarterly earnings below analysts’ estimates, mainly on weaker demand for oilfield services and lower margins.
For the fourth quarter, the company’s profit fell 69 percent to C$22.6 million, or 15 Canadian cents a share, from C$73.8 million, or 48 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue fell 39 percent to C$278.7 million, as weaker commodity prices, global credit crunch and regional geopolitical issues hurt demand for the company’s services.
Analysts on average expected the company to earn 17 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$277.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said its gross margin was negatively impacted by maintenance expenditures in preparation for the Canadian winter drilling season and reduced margins from operations in the United States.
Ensign, which has majority of its operations in Canada, said financial contribution from its Canadian operations is likely to be lower in 2010.
Ensign shares closed at C$15.03 Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)