Pulse Seismic Inc. reports Q2 2009 results



    TSX Symbol - PSD

    CALGARY, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - Douglas Cutts, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Pulse Seismic Inc. ("Pulse" or "the Company"), reports the
financial and operating results of Pulse for the three and six months ended
June 30, 2009. The interim consolidated financial statements, accompanying
notes and MD&A have been filed on SEDAR. These documents are also available on
Pulse's website www.pulseseismic.com.

    
    HIGHLIGHTS

    -   Seismic data library sales for the three months ended June 30, 2009
        were $8.4 million compared to $10.9 million for the same period in
        2008.

    -   Cash EBITDA(a) for the three months ended June 30, 2009 was
        $6.7 million ($0.13 per share basic and diluted), compared to
        $8.8 million ($0.16 per share basic and diluted) for the three months
        ended June 30, 2008.

    -   Net earnings from continuing operations were $872,000 ($0.02 per
        share basic and diluted) for the three months ended June 30, 2009
        compared to net earnings from continuing operations of $1.3 million
        ($0.02 per share basic diluted) for the same period in 2008.

    -   The working capital position was $15.5 million (including cash of
        $14.6 million) at June 30, 2009 compared to $12.8 million (including
        cash of $11.3 million) at June 30, 2008 and $14.4 million (including
        cash of $13.2 million) at December 31, 2008.

    -   In the second quarter of 2009 a total of 32,700 common shares were
        purchased and cancelled through the normal course issuer bid program
        for a total cost of approximately $41,000.


    FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
    (000s of dollars except per share data)

                      3 months ended         6 months ended       Year ended
                          June 30                June 30            Dec. 31
                   ---------------------- ----------------------- -----------
                     2009        2008        2009       2008         2008
                     ----        ----        ----       ----         ----
                               (re-                    (re-
                  (unaudited)  stated)(b) (unaudited)  stated)(b)

    Revenue from
     continuing
     operations:
      Data library
       sales      $    8,379  $   10,895  $   10,531  $   18,724  $   36,894
      Participation
       surveys             -         437       4,872         437       8,509
                  -----------------------------------------------------------
    Total revenue
     from
     continuing
     operations   $    8,379  $   11,332  $   15,403  $   19,161  $   45,403

    Amortization
     of seismic
     data library $    4,899  $    6,582  $   13,755  $   13,228  $   32,438

    Net earnings
     (loss) from
     continuing
     ops          $      872  $    1,340  $   (2,053) $      331  $      880
    Net earnings
     (loss) from
     continuing
     ops per
     share:
      Basic and
       diluted    $     0.02  $     0.02  $    (0.04) $     0.01  $     0.02

    Net earnings
     (loss)       $      872  $    1,478  $   (2,053) $       37  $      586
    Net earnings
     (loss) per
     share:
      Basic and
       diluted    $     0.02  $     0.03  $    (0.04) $     0.00  $     0.01
    Funds from
     continuing
     opera-
     tions(a)     $    6,324  $    8,854  $   11,500  $   14,312  $   35,188
    Funds from
     continuing
     operations
     per share(a):
      Basic and
       diluted    $     0.12  $     0.16  $     0.22  $     0.26  $     0.65

    Cash
     EBITDA(a)    $    6,731  $    8,847  $    7,394  $   14,742  $   28,196

    Working
     capital:
      Cash        $   14,576  $   11,287  $   14,576  $   11,287  $   13,244
      Non-cash
       working
       capital         7,919       9,475       7,919       9,475       7,918
      Current
       portion of
       long term
       debt           (6,998)     (8,004)     (6,998)     (8,004)     (6,798)
                  -----------------------------------------------------------
    Total working
     capital      $   15,497  $   12,758  $   15,497  $   12,758  $   14,364

    Total assets  $  101,261  $  109,178  $  101,261  $  109,178  $  112,383
    Capital
     expenditures:
      Seismic data
       purchases  $        -  $    2,033  $        -  $    2,033  $    4,557
      Participation
       surveys             9           -       8,909           -      16,433
      Changes to
       work in
       progress           12         823      (1,629)        823       1,681
      Property &
       equipment
       additions           3         149          25         499         556
                  -----------------------------------------------------------
    Total capital
     expenditures $       24  $    3,005  $    7,305  $    3,355  $   23,227

    Total long-
     term debt
     (net of
     current
     maturities
     and debt
     financing
     costs)       $   23,734  $   19,305  $   23,734  $   19,305  $   26,188

    Shareholders'
     equity       $   63,972  $   71,686  $   63,972  $   71,686  $   66,288

    Weighted
     average
     shares
     outstanding:
      Basic       53,146,780  53,966,092  53,325,489  54,185,449  53,985,299
      Diluted     53,146,780  54,574,330  53,325,489  54,728,623  54,160,333
    Shares
     outstanding
     at period
     end          53,127,783  53,822,950  53,127,783  53,822,950  53,397,583

    Seismic
     library:
      2D in net
       kilometres    257,281     257,281     257,281     257,281     257,281
      3D in net
       square
       kilometres     12,805      11,779      12,805      11,779      12,514

    (a) The Company's continuous disclosure documents provide discussion and
        analysis of "cash EBITDA", "funds from operations" and "funds from
        operations per share". These financial measures do not have
        standard definitions prescribed by GAAP in Canada and, therefore, may
        not be comparable to similar measures disclosed by other companies.
        The Company has included these non-GAAP financial measures because
        management, investors, analysts and others use them as measures of
        the Company's financial performance. The Company's definition of cash
        EBITDA is cash available for interest payments, cash taxes if
        applicable, debt servicing, discretionary capital expenditures and
        the payment of dividends, and is calculated as earnings before
        interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization less participation
        survey revenue, plus non-cash and non-recurring G&A expenses. Cash
        EBITDA excludes participation survey revenue as these funds are
        directly used to fund specific participation surveys and this revenue
        is not available for discretionary capital expenditures. The Company
        believes cash EBITDA assists investors in comparing Pulse's results
        on a consistent basis without regard to participation survey revenue
        and non-cash items, such as depreciation and amortization, which can
        vary significantly depending on accounting methods or non-operating
        factors such as historical cost. The Company's definition of funds
        from operations is cash flow from operations as prescribed by
        Canadian GAAP but excluding the impact of changes in non-cash working
        capital. Funds from operations represent the cash that was generated
        during the period, regardless of the timing of collection of
        receivables and payment of payables. Funds from operations per share
        is defined as funds from operations divided by the weighted average
        number of shares outstanding for the period.
    (b) Comparative figures for 2008 have been restated to reflect the change
        in participation survey revenue recognition policy on July 1, 2008
        from the completed contract method to the percentage of completion
        method. Under the percentage of completion method, participation
        survey revenue is recognized proportionately with the degree of
        completion of the survey projects.
    


    OPERATIONS UPDATE

    Subsequent to the end of the second quarter, the Company commenced
initial work on a 108 net square kilometre 3D participation survey located in
the Deep Basin area of west-central Alberta. It is anticipated that the survey
will be completed by the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the
fourth quarter of 2009. It is expected that the new data will be delivered to
the participants in two phases; with approximately $1.0 million of
participation survey revenue being recognized with the initial delivery in
2009 and approximately $1.5 million of participation survey revenue recognized
when the remainder of the new data is delivered in January 2010.

    OUTLOOK

    Pulse had an encouraging second quarter of 2009 given ongoing industry
and economic circumstances, experiencing an improved level of seismic data
library sales and cash EBITDA and generating positive earnings. But the
Company expects continued low levels of oil and natural gas exploration
activity in Western Canada and associated expenditures on seismic throughout
2009. There is an ongoing lack of clarity concerning future commodity prices
(particularly natural gas prices), capital market conditions and the effects
of Alberta's royalty changes and subsequent incentive programs, all of which
cloud the task of forecasting the timing and strength of a recovery in the
energy industry's capital expenditures.
    Pulse's seismic data sales outlook remains similarly uncertain. The
Company closed two large sales during the second quarter and continues to work
hard on business development, focusing on major oil and natural gas producers
that are maintaining some exploration spending. Sales success cannot be
predicted, however, and Pulse is not banking on a turnaround in the near term.
The third quarter is historically Pulse's weakest of the year, and July sales
were very weak. It is possible that the second half of 2009 will be even
weaker than the first.
    According to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors
(CAODC), the weekly rig count as of July 21, 2009 had recovered somewhat from
extraordinarily low levels in May and early June, but overall fleet
utilization remained a very low 18 percent. In early July the CAODC reduced
its 2009 drilling forecast, estimating that fleet utilization would average
only 26 percent through 2009 (down from 40 percent in 2008), and forecasting
that only 8,787 wells would be drilled in western Canada during the year. In
2008, 16,800 wells were drilled in western Canada. The CAODC now foresees
little recovery in drilling activity towards year-end, due to continued
weakness in natural gas prices. Sales of mineral leases, a leading indicator
of field activities including seismic spending, remained extremely weak in
Alberta through spring and into summer. On the plus side, certain
unconventional natural gas projects were reportedly proceeding, including in
the Deep Basin region of west central Alberta where Pulse is active.
    Natural gas prices remain key to reviving energy industry activity.
Prices were weak throughout the second quarter and into July. Both AECO
Canadian dollar and Henry Hub U.S. dollar prices were in the low to mid
$3-per-mcf range as of late July. This is well below the level required to
stimulate conventional natural gas drilling. In May, North American gas
storage volume broke out of the upper end of its five-year weekly range, and
the gap widened throughout June and July. Overall storage reached nearly 3
trillion cubic feet as of July 17, according to the U.S. Energy Information
Administration, almost 500 billion cubic feet above the five-year average for
the comparable week. Notwithstanding speculation that some of the storage
volume represented inventory to meet forward sales made to take advantage of
higher 2010 contract prices, such massive storage is widely considered bearish
for natural gas prices.
    Any return to more robust exploration capital expenditures in western
Canada will require a combination of higher natural gas prices, improved
company cash flows and better access to debt and/or equity capital. The
Company is therefore maintaining a highly cautious and conservative financial
stance, focused on cash conservation and balance sheet integrity, that it
adopted entering 2009. This strategy has included reducing capital
expenditures, identifying opportunities for internal cost savings, reducing
share repurchases and suspending the payment of cash dividends. The latter
move alone will result in cash savings of approximately $10 million in 2009.

    
    Pulse continues to benefit from a number of advantages that position it to
weather this period of uncertainty and weak sales revenue, including:

    -   Ample working capital and a strong cash position;
    -   Moderate debt with low interest costs and access to additional credit
        if required;
    -   A low operating and G&A cost structure;
    -   Meaningful internal cost savings achieved year-to-date, with combined
        operating and G&A expenses for the first half of 2009 reduced by
        nearly $900,000 from the first half of 2008;
    -   Low capital commitments throughout 2009; and
    -   Overall good liquidity.
    

    In summary, the Company is financially sound and is prepared for
continued low levels of revenue. If necessary, Pulse could continue to operate
this way throughout 2009 and 2010.

    CORPORATE PROFILE

    Pulse is a market leader in the acquisition, marketing and licensing of
2D and 3D seismic data for the western Canadian energy sector. Pulse owns the
second-largest licensable seismic data library in Canada, currently consisting
of approximately 257,300 net kilometres of 2D seismic and 12,800 net square
kilometres of 3D seismic. The library extensively covers the Western Canada
Sedimentary Basin where most of Canada's oil and natural gas exploration and
development occurs. The replacement value of Pulse's library is currently
estimated at over $1 billion based on current field replacement costs.
    Forward Looking Information

    This document contains information that constitutes "forward looking
information" or "forward looking statements" (collectively, "forward looking
information") within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. This
forward looking information includes, among other things, statements
regarding:

    
    -   estimated future demand for seismic data;
    -   estimated future seismic data sales;
    -   estimated future demand for participation surveys;
    -   estimated costs, funding, size, commencement dates and delivery dates
        of participation surveys;
    -   planned future participation surveys;
    -   planned growth of the seismic data library;
    -   planned future normal course issuer bid purchases;
    -   Pulse's business strategy; and
    -   Other expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions,
        information and statements about possible future events, conditions,
        results and performance.
    

    Often, but not always, forward looking information uses words or phrases
such as: "expects", "does not expect" or "is expected", "anticipates" or "does
not anticipate", "plans" or "does not plan", "estimates" or "estimated",
"projects" or "projected", "forecasts" or "forecasted", "believes" or "does
not believe", "intends" or "does not intend", "likely" or "unlikely",
"possible", "probable", "scheduled", "positioned", "goal", "objective",
"hopes", "optimistic" or states that certain actions, events or results
"should", "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be
achieved.
    Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information.
Forward looking information is based upon current expectations, estimates and
projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause
actual results to vary and in some instances to differ materially from those
anticipated in the forward looking information.

    
    The material risk factors include, but are not limited to:

    -   the demand for seismic data and participation surveys;
    -   the pricing of data library license sales;
    -   the level of pre-funding of participation surveys, and the ability of
        the Company to make subsequent data library sales from such
        participation surveys;
    -   the ability of the Company to complete participation surveys on time
        and within budget;
    -   the price and demand for oil and natural gas;
    -   the level of oil and natural gas exploration and development
        activities;
    -   the ability of the Company's customers to raise capital;
    -   environment, health and safety risks;
    -   the effect of seasonality and weather conditions on participation
        surveys;
    -   federal and provincial government laws and regulation, including
        taxation, royalty rates, environment and safety;
    -   competition from other seismic data library companies;
    -   dependence upon qualified seismic field contractors;
    -   dependence upon key management, operations and marketing personnel;
        and
    -   protection of Intellectual Property.
    

    The foregoing list of risks is not exhaustive. Additional information on
these risks and other factors which could affect the Company's operations or
financial results are included in the Risk Factors section of the Company's
MD&A for the most recent calendar year and interim periods. Forward looking
information is based upon the assumptions, expectations, estimates and
opinions of the Company's management at the time the information is presented.





For further information:

For further information: Douglas Cutts, President and C.E.O., Tel.:
(403) 237-5559, Toll-free: 1-877-460-5559, E-mail: info@pulseseismic.com,
Please visit our website at www.pulseseismic.com

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Pulse Seismic Inc.

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