Ensign Energy Services suspends quarterly dividend, reports $29.3M Q1 loss

Ensign Energy Services Inc. suspended its quarterly dividend as it reported a loss of $29.3 million in its latest quarter.

The drilling company says it stopped its regular payment of six cents per share due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices that has dried up demand for its services.

The move to stop its payment to shareholders follows a decision in March to reduce its capital spending plan for the 2020 to $60 million compared with an original plan for $100 million and cut the pay of its top executives in a move to reduce costs.

Ensign says the loss attributed to common shareholders amounted to 18 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $22.2 million or 14 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue fell to $383.9 million, compared with $445.3 million in the first quarter of 2019.

The company says its operating days totalled 9,681 in the first quarter of 2020, down from 11,047 in the same quarter a year earlier as customers cut capital spending in response to the plunge in commodity prices.

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