September 8, 2010 / 9:00 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Major Drilling Q1 beats on improved rig utilization

* Q1 EPS C$0.21 vs est C$0.20

* Revenue up 75 pct to C$109.5 mln

Sept 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s Major Drilling Group International Inc (MDI.TO) reported quarterly results above analysts’ expectations helped by improved rig utilization rates.

For the May-July quarter, the company earned C$5.1 million, or 21 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$3.3 million, or 14 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Major Drilling, which is the world’s No. 2 mine drilling company, reported revenue of C$109.5 million -- its highest in seven consecutive quarters.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 20 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$100.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which has most of its operations in North America and Australia, said a majority of the increased activity is still coming from intermediate mining companies and junior mining companies with advanced properties.

However, it said that early stage exploration companies are still experiencing difficulties in getting financing.

Shares of the Moncton, New Brunswick-based company, which have gained about 27 percent after hitting a 52-week low of C$19.50 mid May, closed up about 1 percent at C$24.76 Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The S&P/TSE Canadian Mining Index closed up 0.52 percent Wednesday. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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