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Tidewater Inc.’s (TDW) fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 34% on higher vessel revenue in its Sub-Saharan Africa/Europe regions, though American vessel revenue slipped.
Tidewater, which provides marine services to the oil and gas industry, had seen growing expenses–including high-priced fuel as well as interest costs–pressure its line. The company has been upgrading its fleet of vessels, which serves the international offshore energy industry.
For the quarter ended June 30, Tidewater’s profit rose to $32.9 million, or 65 cents a share, up from $24.6 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-ago period included $6.3 million in settlement charges, a $3 million impairment charge related to a write-down to estimated fair market value of 11 vessels and related parts inventory.
Revenue jumped 16% to $294.4 million. Vessel revenue climbed 15% to $290.1 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently projected earnings of 60 cents a share on revenue of $293 million.
Operating margin grew to 16.8% from 12.4%.
Vessel operating costs grew 8.9% to $165.8 million, driven by higher crew costs repair and maintenance costs. The company’s general and administrative costs climbed 8.2% to $40.7 million.
Vessel revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa/Europe, which makes up 44% of total vessel revenue, grew 15% to $128.3 million. Its American vessels made up 27% of vessel revenue and declined to $77.7 million from $88.7 million. Asia/Pacific vessels and Middle East/North Africa vessels also posted increasing revenue.
Average day rates for the worldwide fleet were up 14% from a year earlier, and worldwide fleet utilization rose to 68.4% from 61.5%.
Shares closed Tuesday at $48.86 and were inactive premarket. The stock has fallen 3.1% in the past three months.
– Chelsea Stevenson, (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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