Shares of SAExploration Holdings (SAEX) soared over 50% during pre-market trading on Friday, after the Alaskan seismic exploration firm announced $60 million of new projects in Southeast Asia and Alaska.
The onshore data acquisition project in Alaska will be a multi-year one due to climatic limitations and is expected to be completed only by 2020. The second project will be performed in the second quarter of this year in Southeast Asia, to acquire ocean-bottom marine data. This project is estimated to last for a month.
CEO Jeff Hastings said, “We believe these new projects, especially the work on the North Slope, will give us a great opportunity to realize incremental value through a reduction of rental costs from our new equipment profile.”
SAEX shares have tumbled 89% in the trailing 52 weeks. It has regained somewhat since the beginning of this year, primarily driven by reports that Morgan Stanley (MS) was raising its stake in the company by 350%.
According to a filing made mid-last month, the New York City-based investment bank held 309,000 shares of the stock, representing 9% ownership. It may be noted that SAExploration is a low-float stock.
Finally, it may be noted that the Bureau of Land Management had changed the status of its permit on the Alaskan seismic survey by SAExploration to “Paused” from “Prepared and Planning” last month. The status continues to be unchanged at the time of publishing.