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Oilfield services firm DMC Global Inc. (Nasdaq: BOOM) is returning $6.7 million from a federal loan program meant for propping up small businesses hit by the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.

In a statement, the company said it had planned to use the funds to support 306 employee salaries and benefits as the energy sector enters a period of deep financial woes.

New guidance from the Treasury Department released Thursday specifically suggests that public companies with access to non-governmental forms of capital are unlikely to qualify for a PPP loan, and gives two working weeks for companies that did receive loans to pay them back at no penalty.

“In view of these new guidelines and to avoid any further disputes at a time when the business environment is the most difficult it has seen, the company has repaid the loan,” DMC said.

Multiple stories have emerged of large, publicly traded companies receiving PPP loans despite having far more access to capital than smaller businesses. These companies include Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK), which received $10 million and has a market capitalization of $1.83 billion.

Shake Shack gave back its loan after public outcry, while President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin chided large public companies for applying for the funds.

When asked by BizWest this week, DMC claimed it applied for the money because it believed that any requirements the funds be dispersed to small companies without access to capital “wasn’t necessarily conveyed” by federal guidelines. It maintained in its statement Thursday that it was fully compliant with the PPP legislation.

DMC on Thursday also announced first quarter earnings. The company met new analyst expectations for the quarter despite an initial dive in oil prices, but revenues were about a fifth of what it had originally expected at the beginning of the year.

The Broomfield company reported $73.56 million in revenue and an earnings-per-share figure of 35 cents, beating Wall Street estimates by $690,000 and 1 cent, respectively, according to consensus estimates compiled by Seeking Alpha.

In a prepared statement, CEO Kevin Longe said the brutal pricing environment for oil producers is forcing them to cut back on capital expenditures, meaning less revenue for DMC as a supplier.

“The current economic downturn has led to a severe disruption of our core energy markets. Operators and service companies are revising their activity plans daily, and we now anticipate second quarter well completions could be down by more than 60% year over year,” he said.

Analysts had to reassess DMC’s earnings potential for the first three months of the year after a rapid drop in demand due to social distancing requirements to slow the coronavirus and a production battle between Saudi Arabia and Russia through March and part of April hammered oil prices. Prices for West Texas Intermediate fell from around $47 per barrel at the beginning of March to $20 at the end of the month, according to Bloomberg data.

DMC pulled its earnings guidance in mid-March in response to the wider volatility in the energy sector. It originally estimated it would make $370 million to $400 million and have earnings of 50 to 55 cents per share.

The earnings period doesn’t cover DMC laying off a third of its workforce, cutting 50% of its capital expenditures for the year or the effects of Monday’s oil contango, where traders were paying as much as $37 per barrel for other people to take futures contracts off their hands.

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