Midland, Texas-Based Dawson Geophysical Company (NASDAQ: DWSN ) isn't expected to report earnings until November 11, but already the news doesn't look good.
On Thursday, after close of trading, Dawson issued an earnings warning regarding its anticipated financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter ending September 30, 2013. As Dawson reminds, it warned investors at the time of its Q3 earnings release that it was expecting a "significant reduction" in utilization rates for its data acquisition crews during Q4.
Dawson named factors largely out of its hands for the reduction -- "project readiness issues due to agricultural operations" in areas where it wanted to do work, "early project completions" that will consequently not be bringing in any more revenues, and a "previously disclosed slowdown in requests for proposals during the third fiscal quarter" from Dawson's customers.
The upshot of all this is, however, all the same: "During the fourth fiscal quarter, the Company operated the equivalent of [only] eight data acquisition crews, down from thirteen crews during the third fiscal quarter." This should logically result in weak sales, and poor earnings results, during the quarter.
Looking farther out, Dawson did not that it expects to be operating more crews (10 to 12) in fiscal Q1 2014, and perhaps even more crews later in the year.