Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Oct 24, 2019 • 10:00 am ET
Mark S. Siegel
a down market, our drilling franchise remain strong because of our high-quality rig fleet and operational expertise. In pressure pumping, we note that unsustainably low pricing levels are leading to horsepower attrition and industry participants, including ourselves, are retiring equipment. We believe this attrition will help correct the oversupplied market, which is currently leading to low utilization levels.
That said, Patterson-UTI has a strong financial position, which has allowed us to focus on debt reduction and share buybacks. During the third quarter, we repurchased an additional 8.2 million shares. Since the beginning of 2018, we have repurchased more than 29 million shares or 13% of the shares outstanding at the end of 2017. Including dividends, we have returned more than $430 million of cash to shareholders since the beginning of 2018.
I would also like to call out that during the third quarter, we published our Corporate Sustainability Report. I am proud of the initiatives we have pursued, some of which are highlighted in our report, which can be found in the Sustainability section of our website. I'm also pleased to announce today that the company declared a quarterly dividend -- quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $0.04 per share to be paid on December 19, 2019, to holders of record on December 5, 2019.
With that said, we would both like to commend and thank the hard-working men and women who make up this company. We appreciate your continuing efforts.
Operator, we'd now like to open the call for questions.