Hunting excites investors with full-year profit expectations

Courtney Goldsmith
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Hunting has benefited from the US shale boom (Source: Getty)

Shares in energy services firm Hunting rose as much as eight per cent today after the firm said it will report a "modest" pre-tax profit for the full year.

In a trading update for the third quarter, Hunting said group revenues continued to strengthen in the period, driven by onshore drilling in the US, which has picked up thanks to the shale boom.

It now expects full-year revenues to be around the $700m (£532m) mark, ahead of the consensus of $669m, according to RBC Europe.

Hunting expects the improved trading, particularly in the second half of the year, to help it deliver a modest pre-tax profit before charges for intangible asset amortisation and any exceptional items.

Shares in the company were up 6.5 per cent at 486.4p in late morning trading.

Read more: Oilfield services firm Hunting rides the US shale boom

However, the group said its businesses that focus on offshore and international drilling markets remained subdued in the quarter, though it has narrowed losses through tight cost management.

As previously reported, Hunting returned to positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) in the year to date. For the nine months to 30 September 2017, Ebitda was about $33m.

The group will continue to "closely monitor" cash generation, and it expects to have a positive net cash position at the end of the year. Over the period, net debt increased to around $15m while group-wide capital expenditures continue to be tightly controlled with spend in the year so far at around $7m.

​Hunting also noted Jim Johnson was appointed as chief executive during the period after Dennis Proctor stepped down.

Read more: Hunting's chairman of 26 years is set to step down and shares are tumbling

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