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Oil Market Weakness Keeps Hurting Dawson Geophysical

Conditions in the energy markets have hurt hundreds of companies that rely on healthy crude prices for their success, and not all of them are in the oil production business themselves. Dawson Geophysical (NASDAQ:DWSN) has also felt the pain from crude's plunge because of falling demand for its seismic services, and coming into Thursday's third-quarter financial report, Dawson investors had little hope that the slide in the company's financials would slow. Dawson didn't even manage to live up to those lowered expectations, however, and its views on the future could well raise concerns throughout the oil patch.

Let's take a closer look at how Dawson Geophysical did and what it sees ahead.

Image source: Dawson Geophysical.

Dawson Geophysical keeps sliding lower

Dawson Geophysical's third-quarter results showed just how bad things are in the energy services industry right now. Revenue plunged by more than half to $28.1 million, and that was even worse than the consensus forecast for $32 million in sales. Dawson once again saw its net loss for the quarter widen from year-ago levels, with the company losing $12.4 million. That worked out to $0.57 per share in losses, far worse than the $0.36 per share that most investors thought Dawson would lose during the period.

Taking a closer look at Dawson's financials, it's clear that the company took steps to try to stop the bleeding on its bottom line, but there's only so much that it can do under conditions like these. The seismic specialist cut its operating expenses by more than 40% and managed to reduce its general and administrative costs by about a quarter, but even those savings weren't enough to offset the impact of falling revenue. Moreover, depreciation and amortization were relatively stable, and given that those costs make up about a quarter of...