October 16, 2007
Tidewater gives earnings guidance
Tidewater Inc. (NYSE:TDW) estimates that fiscal second quarter financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2007 to be between $1.54 - $1.57 on a fully diluted per share basis. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate is currently $1.71 per share. The company reported fully diluted earnings of $1.55 per share in the quarter ended June 30, 2007.
September 2007 quarterly earnings are expected to reflect slightly higher vessel revenues and vessel operating costs and lower gains on asset sales when compared to results reported in the prior quarter.
The estimated earnings include reduced vessel utilization related to higher levels of regulatory drydockings during the September 2007 quarter. The regulatory drydockings, several of which involved large deepwater vessels that enjoy high current dayrates, negatively impacted repair and maintenance expenses and, more importantly, negatively impacted vessel revenue for the quarter. While worldwide vessel revenues are expected to be slightly ahead of the prior quarter's total, Tidewater estimates the increased maintenance downtime negatively impacted the September 2007 quarter's revenue gain over the prior quarter by a net $6 million.
Vessel operating expenses are expected to be approximately $4 million higher than in the previous quarter, $3.5 million of which relates to new vessels that were delivered to the fleet during the last few months. Worldwide vessel operating expenses are expected to be approximately $2.5 million (or 1.8%) greater than the top end of the prior guidance given by the company on these costs of $136 - $140 million.
Gains on asset sales are estimated to be approximately $2 million in the September 2007 quarter versus $6.9 million in the June 2007 quarter due to fewer vessel dispositions during the September 2007 quarter.
Tidewater says the general business environment for vessels, especially in the international arena, remains strong, as reflected by an approximate 6% increase in average vessel dayrates during the September 2007 quarter for the company's fleet of approximately 220 international towing-supply/supply vessels.