(Adds details on quarter)
May 2 (Reuters) - Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corp Plc on Wednesday reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on lower expenses amid a lower fleet utilization rate.
Noble had an average rig utilization rate - the number of rigs being used as a percentage of the company's total fleet - of 47 percent, down from 69 percent a year earlier.
Noble earned $195,633 on average per day from its active rigs in the quarter, down 3.5 percent from a year ago.
Net loss attributable to Noble narrowed to $142.3 million, or 58 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $301.7 million, or $1.24 a share, a year earlier, the company said.
Adjusting for one-time items, the company lost 55 cents per share, while analysts on average had expected a loss of 57 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell to $235.2 million from $363 million. (Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha; Editing by Bernard Orr)