IROC Energy Services Corp. announces first quarter 2009 results



    
    /THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN UNITED STATES OR TO ANY
    UNITED STATES NEWS SERVICES/
    

    CALGARY, May 11 /CNW/ - IROC Energy Services Corp. ("IROC" or the
"Company") (TSX: "ISC") announces the Company's financial results for the
three months ended March 31, 2009.

    
    FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
    --------------------

                                            For the 3 months ended Mar 31,
                                            ------------------------------
                                                      (Unaudited)
                                              2009         2008     % Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue - continuing operations    $    14,007  $    19,520         -28%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating costs                          9,226       11,685         -21%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gross margin                             4,781        7,835         -39%
    Gross margin %                             34%          40%         -15%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General and administrative
     expenses                                2,201        1,922          15%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDAS - continuing operations(1)       2,580        5,913         -56%
    Per share diluted(1)                      0.06         0.13         -54%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings - continuing
     operations                                 82        2,124         -96%
    Per share diluted                         0.00         0.05        -100%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings                               488        2,710         -82%
    Per share diluted                         0.01         0.06         -83%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Number of shares outstanding
      Basic                             44,296,448   44,251,080           0%
      Diluted                           44,296,448   44,277,345           0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) EBITDAS and EBITDAS per share are "NON-GAAP MEASURES". EBITDAS is
        defined as "earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
        amortization, stock-based compensation expense, foreign exchange
        gains and losses and gains or losses on disposal of property and
        equipment." EBITDAS and EBITDAS per share are not recognized measures
        under GAAP.

    Overview
    --------
    
    The first quarter of 2009 began with the expectation of continued reduced
activity for the oilfield services industry as a result of uncertainty
continuing to hang over our industry. The global economic conditions and the
uncertainty of commodity prices for oil and gas lead to some of the lowest
historical activity levels in the oilfield in Canada and around the world
during the first quarter. The result of these factors has had a dramatic
effect on oil and gas producers leading to many of our customers reducing
their planned activity levels in exploration and development for fiscal 2009
with a focus on balance sheet preservation and matching spending with
realistic cash flows. Increased spending by producers is expected to begin
again when producers see sustained periods of higher natural gas and oil
prices. The downturn in activity brought about by the decline in economic
conditions, including a significant decline in commodity prices for oil and
gas and the worldwide credit crisis, has lead to substantial pricing pressure
and lower utilization in all oilfield related services.
    IROC was able to substantially strengthen its balance sheet through the
timely disposition of certain divisions' assets, thereby providing greater
flexibility in a time of uncertainty in our business. Going forward we feel
that we have positioned IROC very well on a number of fronts. Actions have
been taken to make our balance sheet stronger, appropriate asset
rationalizations have been made, administrative costs have been cut, our
equipment is best in class, opportunity exists for us to continue to grow and
management continues to remain focused on growing shareholder value. We
understand that we are in a cyclical business and therefore the need to manage
the down side of the cycle is just as important to our longer term viability
as it is during periods of greater activity.
    Further focus on our core businesses was a key component of our strategy
going forward and as such during the fourth quarter of 2008 management
solicited interest for the sale of the assets and operations of Oricomm and
Envirocore divisions. During the first quarter of 2009 IROC completed the sale
of both Oricomm and Envirocore divisions for a total of $8.44 million, of
which $6.3 million was received in cash and the balance on assumption of notes
receivable totaling $2.14 million resulting in a recorded gain on sale of
approximately $1.0 million. The cash proceeds of $6.3 million were used to
further reduce IROC's outstanding long-term debt.

    
    First Quarter Highlights:
    -------------------------

    -   IROC's revenue from continuing operations for the first quarter ended
        March 31, 2009 decreased 28%, from $19.5 million to $14 million
        compared to the same period in 2008. Although IROC had additional
        equipment capacity year over year from the service rig build program
        in fiscal 2008 additional revenue growth was hampered as a result of
        lower than expected utilization and competitive pressure on pricing.
        Activity levels were also lower in both the Aero Rentals and Canada
        Tech divisions year over year for the first quarter as a result of
        the low demand brought about by low commodity prices for oil and gas
        driving customers to reduce their spending significantly.

    -   EBITDAS from continuing operations for the three months ended
        March 31, 2009 was $2.6 million or $0.06 per share, compared to
        $5.9 million, or $0.13 per share, in the same period of 2008. EBITDAS
        for the quarter decreased $3.3 million or 56% year over year mainly
        as a result of lower activity levels across the industry.
        Additionally, operating costs were higher as field personnel wages
        were increased in October 2008 at a time when the industry activity
        levels were reducing. Pricing to customers is usually increased to
        partially offset some of these higher costs and with the increased
        competitive environment and lower demand from customers, pricing
        increases were not achievable. Generally costs associated with field
        activities have not moved directionally with the lower demand
        environment. EBITDAS as a percentage of revenue was 18.4% and 30.3%
        for the three months ended March 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.

    -   The Corporation recorded net earnings from continuing operations of
        $0.1 million, or earnings of $0.00 per share, for the three months
        ended March 31, 2009 compared to net earnings of $2.1 million, or
        earnings of $0.05 per share, for the comparable period for 2008. The
        decrease in the net earnings for the three months ended March 31,
        2009 compared to 2008 is due to lower margins on its services and
        products as a result of lower utilization and lower prices in some
        cases and partially offset by lower interest costs for debt servicing
        due to significant debt reductions.

    -   Further strengthened the balance sheet by reducing debt levels with
        cash proceeds of approximately $6.3 million from the sale of Oricomm
        and Envirocore divisions and the discontinuance of these operations
        during the first quarter. IROC exited the first quarter of 2009 with
        net debt of approximately $7 million.

    -   On April 27, 2009 IROC's board of directors declared a semi-annual
        cash dividend on its common shares of three cents. The dividend will
        be payable May 21, 2009, to shareholders of record at the close of
        business on May 7, 2009. Over the past few months IROC has
        significantly reduced debt obligations through the strategic
        dispositions of three divisions. While the total proceeds from these
        dispositions were approximately $40-million, the dispositions did not
        significantly reduce the profitability or cash flow. Also, we expect
        to incur only minimal capital costs in the near term given the newer,
        high-quality assets in all our businesses. Management and the board
        believe our balance sheet is strong, ongoing cash flows are adequate
        and that pursuing a business model that includes paying a dividend in
        addition to funding accretive expansion over time is a prudent course
        of action. Accordingly, the board has determined that it is
        appropriate to initiate a dividend for the benefit of our
        shareholders at this time.
    

    Eagle Well Servicing

    Eagle Well Servicing ("Eagle"), which comprises a significant portion of
the Drilling and Production Services segment, finished the first quarter of
2009 with a fleet of 36 service rigs, an increase of 2 service rigs from the
end of fiscal 2008. The average number of rigs available in the first quarter
of 2009 compared to 2008 increased to 34.2 rigs from 30 rigs as a result of
our organic rig builds through 2008 and continuing in the first quarter of
2009. Eagle's utilization during the first quarter of 2009 was approximately
43% compared 63% utilization in the comparable period of 2008. Revenue per
hour remained relatively flat decreasing only $1 per hour from same period in
2008. Eagle continued to increase its capacity by completing the build of two
previously announced service rigs during the first quarter of 2009 to bring
its total fleet of service rigs to 36. Revenue generated from Eagle during the
first quarter of 2009 was $10.4 million compared to $13.5 million in the same
period of 2008, a decrease of 23%. EBITDAS for the first quarter of 2009 from
Eagle was $3.4 million compared to $5.5 million in the same period of 2008, a
decrease of 38%. EBITDAS was hampered by higher variable operating costs
primarily from the increase in field wage costs implemented during the fourth
quarter of 2008 based on recommended wage increases by the CAODC and lower
customer demand that lead to one of the lowest utilization levels experienced
during the normally high activity winter season.

    Aero Rentals

    Aero Rental Services ("Aero") provides rental equipment for surface
pressure control in drilling and workover operations and tubular handling
equipment in the workover, re-entry and completion areas. Aero's results are
affected by the level of drilling activity in the industry. During the first
quarter of 2009 Aero contributed revenue of $1.4 million compared to $1.7
million in the prior year period, a decrease of 20%. EBITDAS was $0.3 million
for the first quarter of 2009 compared to $0.6 million in the same period of
2008. Aero was significantly affected by the slower industry activity during
the first quarter of 2009 which resulted in equipment utilization and pricing
at lower levels than expected. The costs in this division are somewhat fixed
in nature and as such has led to lower EBITDAS for the periods of low
activity.

    Canada Tech

    Canada Tech is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a wide line of
tools and systems that measure pressures and temperatures in the downhole and
surface environment of oil and gas wells. This segment generated revenue of
$2.2 million, or 16% of the Corporation's total consolidated revenue, for the
three months ended March 31, 2009, compared to $4.3 million or 22% of total
consolidated revenue for the comparable period of fiscal 2008. Product sales
decreased year over year as Canada Tech was affected by the slowdown in the
oil and gas industry worldwide. In the past year the Canada Tech division has
focused significant efforts on developing international market penetration.
The international market generally has longer lead times to complete the sales
process as it is more complex on all levels, including but not limited to bid
processes, logistics of delivery and collection of receivables. For the three
months ended March 31, 2009, Canada Tech had negative EBITDAS of $0.2 million
compared to positive EBITDAS of $0.8 million in the same period of 2008, a
decrease of 121%. The primary result of decreased EBITDAS is attributable to
the lower than expected product sales volume year over year. The margin on
products improved by approximately 15% from the benefit of improved foreign
exchange rates on our sales denominated in US dollars offset by lower volume
of sales to spread the same level of fixed overhead costs leading to lower
profitability in the quarter. Subsequent to the quarter end, we have initiated
cost reductions in a number of areas including reduced head count and
elimination of discretionary spending in a number of areas to assist in
improving profitability for the remainder of the year.

    
    Outlook
    -------
    
    The outlook for 2009 remains uncertain. The global economic crisis is
affecting all industries and the fall in oil and gas commodity pricing from
the highs seen in the third quarter of 2008 continue to have a significant
adverse affect on the oilfield service business. The conditions appear to have
hindered the ability for oil and gas producers to access debt or equity
markets to finance their operations. Most producers have substantially reduced
their spending for 2009 with a focus on matching spending with realistic cash
flows. Any positive change in commodity pricing will positively affect our
outlook with any movement in oil providing the most immediate increase in
utilization. The declining utilization and competitive pricing environment
will likely continue through the second quarter of 2009 and potentially longer
depending upon oil and gas prices.
    Going forward we feel that we have positioned IROC well on a number of
fronts. Actions have been taken to strengthen our balance sheet,
administrative costs have been cut, our equipment is best in class,
opportunity exists for us to continue to grow and management continues to
remain focused on growing shareholder value. We understand that we are in a
cyclical business and therefore need to manage the down side of the cycle just
as we need to during better times.

    
    Conference Call
    ---------------
    
    Commensurate with this press release the company has ceased hosting
conference calls following the release of its financial results. We invite all
investors and analysts to contact IROC management and investor relations at
investorrelations@iroccorp.com or (403) 263-1110 to discuss any questions. We
thank everyone that has participated in the past conference calls.
    Publicly reported information for IROC Energy Services Corp. is available
at www.sedar.com.

    About IROC Energy Services Corp.

    IROC Energy Services Corp. is an Alberta oilfield services company that,
through the IROC Energy Services Partnership, provides a diverse range of
products, services and equipment to the oil and gas industry that are among
the newest and most innovative in the WCSB. IROC combines cutting-edge
technology with depth of experience to deliver a product and services offering
in three core areas: Well Servicing & Equipment, Downhole Temperature &
Pressure Monitoring Tools, and Rental Services. For more information on IROC
Energy Services Corp. visit our website at www.iroccorp.com.

    Cautionary Statements

    Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward
looking statements concerning, among other things, expected revenues, expected
expenses, profits, developments and strategies for IROC's operations all of
which are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These
forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases
such as "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will",
"projected", "should", "believe" and other similar terms and phrases. By its
nature, such forward looking information involves known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to
differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking statements.
These risks include, but are not limited, to the risks associated with the oil
and gas industry generally, fluctuating prices in crude oil and natural gas,
changes in drilling activity, general global economic, political and business
conditions, weather conditions, regulatory changes and availability of
products, qualified personnel and manufacturing capacity and raw materials. If
any of these uncertainties materialize, or if assumptions are incorrect actual
results may vary materially from those expected. IROC relies on litigation
protection for any forward looking statements.

    This press release is not for dissemination in United States or to any
United States news services. The Common Shares of IROC have not and will not
be registered on the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the
"United States Securities Act") or any state securities laws and are not
offered or sold in the United States or to any US person except in certain
transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the United States
Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

    
    Consolidated Balance Sheets
    Expressed in thousands of dollars
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       March 31, December 31,
                                                           2009         2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Assets

    Current assets:
      Cash                                          $         1  $         1
      Accounts receivable                                12,285       13,128
      Notes receivable                                      750            -
      Inventory                                           4,393        4,130
      Prepaid expenses and deposits                         540          452
      Income taxes receivable                                72           72
      Assets of discontinued operations                   1,105        3,615
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         19,146       21,398

    Notes receivable                                      1,390            -
    Intangible assets                                     4,180        4,487
    Property and equipment                               65,163       64,759
    Goodwill                                              6,850        6,850
    Assets of discontinued operations                         -        7,170

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    $    96,729  $   104,664
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

    Current liabilities:
      Operating loan                                $     3,134  $     4,716
      Accounts payable and accrued liabilities            4,145        6,393
      Current portion of long-term debt                   5,627        4,891
      Liabilities of discontinued operations                 94          472
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         13,000       16,472

    Long-term debt                                       14,563       20,116
    Future income taxes                                   4,667        4,132

    Shareholders' equity:
      Share capital                                      51,506       51,591
      Contributed surplus                                 3,678        3,526
      Retained earnings                                   9,315        8,827
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         64,499       63,944

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    $    96,729  $   104,664
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Statements of Income, Comprehensive Income, and Retained
    Earnings
    Expressed in thousands of dollars except share and per share amounts
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Three months ended
                                                              March 31,
                                                    -------------------------
                                                           2009         2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Revenue                                         $    14,007  $    19,520

    Expenses:
      Operating                                           9,226       11,685
      General and administrative                          2,201        1,922
      Stock-based compensation                              110           76
      Depreciation and amortization                       2,011        1,914
      Interest on long-term debt                            212          975
      Interest and accretion on debentures                    -          236
      Other interest                                         73          135
      Interest income                                       (12)           -
      Gain on disposal of property and equipment             (4)         (57)
      Foreign exchange loss (gain)                           54          (64)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         13,871       16,822

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings before income taxes from continuing
     operations                                             136        2,698

    Income taxes:
      Future                                                 54          574
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             54          574

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income and comprehensive income from
     continuing operations                                   82        2,124

    Net income and comprehensive income from
     discontinued operations                                406          586

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net income and comprehensive income                     488        2,710

    Retained earnings, at beginning of period             8,827        6,479

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Retained earnings, at end of period             $     9,315  $     9,189
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Earnings per share from continuing operations:
      Basic                                         $      0.00  $      0.05
      Diluted                                       $      0.00  $      0.05
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Earnings per share from discontinued
     operations:
      Basic                                         $      0.01  $      0.01
      Diluted                                       $      0.01  $      0.01
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Earnings per share:
      Basic                                         $      0.01  $      0.06
      Diluted                                       $      0.01  $      0.06
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Weighted average number of shares outstanding:
      Basic                                          44,296,448   44,251,080
      Diluted                                        44,296,448   44,277,345
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
    Expressed in thousands of dollars
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Three months ended
                                                              March 31,
                                                    -------------------------
                                                           2009         2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cash flows from operating activities:
      Net earnings from continuing operations       $        82  $     2,124
      Items not affecting cash:
        Depreciation and amortization                     2,011        1,914
        Future income taxes                                  54          574
        Stock-based compensation                            110           76
        Non-cash accretion on debentures                      -           96
        Gain on disposal of property and equipment           (4)         (57)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          2,253        4,727

      Changes in non-cash working capital balances         (874)      (3,170)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          1,379        1,557
    Discontinued operations:
      Funds (used in) provided by discontinued
       operations                                          (151)       1,553
      Changes in non-cash working capital balances
       of discontinued operations                         2,131          622
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          3,359        3,732

    Cash flows from investing activities:
      Proceeds on disposal of property and
       equipment - discontinued operations                6,042            -
      Purchase of property and equipment
       - continuing operations                           (2,137)        (683)
      Change in non-cash working capital balances          (906)           -
      Proceeds on disposal of property and
       equipment - continuing operations                     88          231
      Purchase of property and equipment
       - discontinued operations                             (4)           -
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          3,083         (452)

    Cash flows from financing activities:
      Repayment of long-term debt                        (4,817)         (27)
      Operating loan repayments                          (1,582)      (2,930)
      Shares repurchased for cancellation                   (43)           -
      Issuance of common shares                               -           17
      Loan commitment fees                                    -         (340)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         (6,442)      (3,280)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Change in cash during the period                          -            -

    Cash, beginning of period                                 1            1

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash, end of period                             $         1  $         1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    %SEDAR: 00014277E




For further information:

For further information: IROC Energy Services Corp., Mr. Thomas M.
Alford, President and CEO, or Kevin Howell, CFO, Telephone: (403) 263-1110,
email: investorrelations@iroccorp.com

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