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Why Patterson-UTI Energy Increased Its 2017 Capex Plan

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Patterson-UTI Energy’s operating cash flow and capex

In this part of the series, we’ll see how Patterson-UTI Energy’s (PTEN) cash flow from operating activities (or CFO) has trended over the past few quarters. We’ll also see how its free cash flow (or FCF) was affected, given its capex (capital expenditure).

Patterson-UTI Energy’s CFO fell 73.0% in 4Q16 over 4Q15. It generated $52.0 million CFO in fiscal 2Q16. Lower revenues in the past year primarily led to lower CFO. PTEN’s 4Q16 CFO also fell over 3Q16.

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Cash flow comparison with peers

Fairmount Santrol Holdings’ (FMSA) 4Q16 CFO was $8.5 million. Helmerich & Payne’s (HP) 4Q16 CFO was ~$71.0 million, while Nabors Industries’ (NBR) 4Q16 CFO was $127.0 million.

PTEN makes up 0.25% of the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (MDY).

Patterson-UTI Energy’s FCF

PTEN’s capex fell 71.0% in 4Q16 over a year ago. Lower capex, however, couldn’t offset its fall in CFO, which resulted in its FCF falling significantly in the past year. In 4Q16, its FCF was $13.0 million, a fall of 77.0% from a year ago. Its FCF has been positive in ten of the past 13 quarters.

Patterson-UTI Energy’s 2017 capex plan

Patterson-UTI Energy’s capex budget for 2017 is $350.0 million. That’s 192.0% more than its 2016 capex. Its 2017 capex primarily includes carryover spending from 2016, rig upgrades and new builds, rig activation, and pressure pumping fleet activations.

Next, we’ll take a look at Patterson-UTI Energy’s dividends and dividend yields.

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