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October 29, 2009

Tidewater reports weak second quarter

Tidewater Inc. (NYSE:TDW ) announced second quarter net earnings for the period ended September 30, 2009, of $98.2 million, or $1.90 per common share, on revenues of $295.5 million. Included in net earnings for the September 30, 2009 quarter is a $34.3 million, or $0.66 per common share, tax benefit resulting from a favorable resolution of tax litigation.

Hit by lower vessel operating margins, second quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations.

"While we still believe margins will improve in the back end of fiscal 2010, we are more pessimistic regarding the remainder of the year than we were three months ago," CFO Quinn Fanning said in a conference call.

Chief Executive Dean Taylor said Tidewater was looking at a late 2010 or early 2011 pick-up in activity depending on customer demand.

For the same quarter last year, net earnings were $95.4 million, or $1.85 per common share, on revenues of $346.8 million. The immediately preceding quarter ended June 30, 2009, had net earnings of $44.5 million, or $0.86 per common share, on revenues of $ 326.6 million. Included in net earnings for the June 30, 2009 quarter was a non-cash charge totaling $48.6 million ($47.7 million after tax, or $0.93 per common share) related to the company’s Venezuelan operations. As a result of the seizure of vessels and certain other assets during the June quarter in Venezuela pursuant to a May 2009 Venezuelan law and the continued nonpayment of outstanding receivables from Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and an affiliate of PDVSA, the company recorded in the June 2009 quarter a $3.8 million charge equal to the net book value of the assets seized and a $44.8 million provision to fully reserve accounts receivable due from PDVSA-related entities.


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