07/25/2013 12:40 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Precision Drilling breaks even in second quarter, beating modest expectations

CALGARY - Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD) said Thursday it broke even in the second quarter — a dramatic decline from the year-earlier profit of $18 million as it felt the impact of softer conditions in the oil and gas industry.

The $473,000 profit was worth less than a penny per share, down from six cents per share a year earlier.

However, Precision Drilling's second quarter turned out better than the one-cent loss that analysts had expected, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Revenue was also better than expected, falling only about one per cent to $378.9 million from just under $382 million — less slippage than in the first quarter's year-to-year decline of 6.9 per cent.

The company also declared a dividend of five cents per share for the third quarter, payable Aug. 15. It had first been announced in December.

Precision Drilling shares were up about four per cent at $10.33 in afternoon trading. Earlier in the Thursday session, the shares hit a 52-week high of $10.55.