CAT Oil to Miss Earnings Estimate

FRANKFURT -- CAT Oil, an Austrian oil-services company operating in Russia and Kazakhstan, will probably miss its earnings forecast for 2008 as it incurs higher costs, chief investment officer Manfred Kastner said Friday.

The range of 65 million euros ($93 million) to 70 million euros for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is "ambitious," Kastner said.

A range of 60 million euros to 65 million euros appears more likely, he said.

"High upfront costs are still having a significant impact on our earnings this year," Kastner said.

First-half profit dropped 57 percent to 6.8 million euros on rising costs for materials, wages and diesel fuel, CAT Oil said Aug. 29. The services company, whose customers include Gazprom and LUKoil, added another sidetrack drilling rig in the second quarter, bringing to 11 the number used to extract extra oil from wells by drilling secondary bores.