UPDATE 2-Tidewater profit misses Street view, shares fall

lunes 5 de mayo de 2008 20:21 CEST

(Recasts; adds conference call details, analyst comments' updates share movement)

By Nachiket Kelkar

BANGALORE May 5 (Reuters) - Tidewater Inc (TDW.N: Cotización), the world's largest provider of offshore supply vessels to the energy industry, reported fourth-quarter profit below analysts' estimates, hurt by higher costs and lower utilization of vessels, sending its shares down as much as 12 percent.

Jefferies & Co analyst Judson Bailey said by phone that lower-than-expected deployment of vessels in the international deep-water segment and higher operating costs pinched the company's profit.

In a conference call with analysts, Tidewater's Chief Executive Dean Taylor said the company's higher revenue-generating vessels were dry docked for more number of days, due to heavy work load at the yards, affecting their utilization.

For the fourth quarter, Tidewater earned $85.4 million, or $1.63 a share, compared with $87.6 million, or $1.56 a share, a year ago.

Results for the year-ago quarter included a gain of 37 cents a share related to the sale of 14 offshore tugs, and a pre-tax charge of $3.5 million related to Tidewater's share of a deficit in a pension fund.

Revenue rose nearly 13 percent to $331.4 million.

Analysts expected Tidewater to earn $1.71 a share, excluding special items, on revenue of $323.3 million, according to Reuters Estimates.   Continuación...