Drilling contractor Boart Longyear has flagged continued weak earnings, with demand for its services from the mining sector yet to bottom.
In particular the group has disclosed a further fall in rig utilisation rates in recent months.
In mid-September, rig utilisation fell to 45 per cent from 50 per cent in mid-August and 60 per cent in mid-May.
"It will continue to bump along at low to mid-high 40's (per cent) until November and then dip trough year end," one company official told an analyst briefing earlier today.
"And by February return around where we are now."
Overall. the group said utilisation in Australia and north America "appears to have bottomed" with utilisation in Africa, the Middle East and Europe expected to weaken leading into 2014.
In mid-September, the group had 1035 rigs in operation, down from 1065 in mid-February, with as many as 50 old rigs to be idled by the end of the year, it estimated.
However, pricing pressures remain, it said.
"It doesn't take a big uptick to see a recovery," analysts were told.
"Fixed costs are not going up in this business."