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February 28, 2001
Hvide slashes losses, changes name
Get used to the name Seabulk International, Inc. From March 19 , that will be the new name of what's now Hvide Marine Inc.
The news came as Hvide today reported a net loss of $9.6 million or $0.96 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2000, on revenues of $80.0 million. That's a massive turn around from the year-earlier period, when the company had a net loss of $197.0 million, including charges related to its reorganization, on revenues of $76.8 million. Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2000 was $8.1 million versus an operating loss of $11.8 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.
For all of 2000, the company reported a net loss of $29.0 million or $2.89 per diluted share on revenues of $320.5 million. In 1999, the net loss was $249.9 million on revenues of $342.2 million.
Operating income in 2000 totaled $25.4 million versus an operating loss of $9.5 million in 1999.
Announcing the name change to Seabulk International, president and CEO Gerhard Kurz declared that it "sends the strongest possible signal to our shareholders, customers and employees that we are a new company under new leadership with a new corporate attitude, vision and strategy."
Seabulk Offshore is the brand name of the companys biggest and best-known business -- its offshore energy support activities, which operate worldwide and account for nearly half of the companys revenues.
Kurz continued thatThe new name symbolically ends the first year and marks the beginning of the second year of the new organization. 2000 was not an easy year, but we made good progress toward our goals of debt reduction, cutting costs, quarter-over- quarter improvement in operating results, and positioning the company for long-term profitability and growth. In addition to paying down nearly $50 million in debt, we invested heavily in vessel maintenance and upkeep so as to take advantage of rising markets in both our offshore and tanker businesses.
We also invested in the future by contracting to acquire two modern offshore energy support vessels; acquiring 100% equity interest in our five U.S.-flag, double-hull tankers by purchasing the remaining 24.25% interest held by a third party; and taking delivery of a fourth Ship Docking Module( to augment our towing fleet, continued Mr. Kurz. At the same time, we closed marginal and unproductive activities, such as our shipyard in the Middle East; sold off surplus equipment, including 39 underperforming vessels; and consolidated administrative functions. We will continue these initiatives in 2001 as we go forward under a new name.
In the fourth quarter of 2000, revenues from the Seabulk Offshore unit increased to $40.6 million from $33.3 million in the year-ago period as the recovery that began in the first quarter of 2000 gathered speed, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa.
For the full year, Seabulk Offshore had revenues of $151.4 million versus $150.3 million in 1999. In the Gulf of Mexico, average day rates for Seabulk Offshores 24 supply boats increased to $5,864 in the fourth quarter of 2000 from $4,872 in the third quarter and $3,379 in the year-ago quarter. Utilization was 65% in the fourth quarter versus 63% in the third quarter of 2000 and 73% in the year- earlier period. Seabulk Offshores 30 Gulf of Mexico crewboats averaged $2,478 per day and an 87% utilization rate, up from $2,114 and an 87% utilization in the third quarter of 2000 and $1,827 and 87% in the year-ago quarter.
Internationally, where the company has major operations in West Africa, the Middle East and Far East, average day rates for Seabulk Offshores fleet of 59 anchor handling tug and tug supply vessels increased to $5,578 from $4,867 in the third quarter of 2000 and $4,803 in the year-ago quarter. Utilization was 53% in the current quarter versus 58% in the immediately preceding quarter and 47% a year ago. Day rates for Seabulk Offshores international fleet of 30 crew/utility vessels rose to $1,998 from $1,773 in the third quarter and $1,749 in the year-ago quarter. Utilization was 49% versus 39% in the third quarter and 52% in the year-ago period.
In marine transportation, which includes the companys 10 U.S.-flag product tankers and its inland tug-and-barge operation, revenues were $31.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2000 compared with $33.8 million in the year-ago quarter. For the full year, revenues totaled $136.0 million versus $149.0 million in 1999 due to the mandated retirement of one of the companys Jones Act tankers in 2000 and the effect of converting some spot charter vessels to time charters, an arrangement under which the charterer pays for fuel and port charges. Despite the decline in revenues, operating income from this segment grew more than 35% as Jones Act tanker rates rose throughout the year.
We expect this trend to continue in 2001 as OPA 90-mandated retirements continue and customers demand higher quality tonnage, such as our five double-hull, state-of-the-art tankers, commented Kurz. We now have one of the youngest U.S.-flag fleets, and our next OPA 90 retirement does not come until 2007.
In towing, where the company has operations in six Florida and Gulf Coast ports and the Gulf of Mexico, revenues in the fourth quarter of 2000 were $8.1 million versus $9.7 million a year ago, when the Company had four additional vessels. For the full year, revenues totaled $33.1 million versus $43.0 million in 1999 due mainly to vessel sales and lower revenues in Tampa and Port Everglades.
As previously announced, the Companys stock began trading on the Nasdaq National Market effective January 2. The symbol for the common stock will change from HVDM to SBLK on March 21 to reflect the new Seabulk International name. The Companys Class A Warrants trade on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol HVDMW. Their symbol will change to SBLKW on March 21.