Hughes Tool, a leading oil field services company, said it suffered the largest loss in its 77-year history.
The company posted a $445.8-million second-quarter loss, including writedowns totaling $495.7 million for property, inventory and other charges. A year earlier, Hughes posted a profit of $1 million.
The second-quarter writedowns consisted of about $250 million for plant and equipment, $169 million for inventories and $77 million for other charges.
Quarterly revenue totaled $184.6 million, down 46% from the $341 million of a year ago, the Houston-based company said.
Hughes officials blamed the decline of oil drilling operations for the losses this year.
"During the second quarter, U.S. drilling activity has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded by the company," said W. A. Kistler Jr., president and chief executive.