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GulfMark Offshore Ends 4Q on a High Note

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GulfMark Offshore Inc. ended last year on a high note and is poised to be a strong player in vessel market conditions in 2013.

The company closed 2012 with a consolidated revenue of $95 million and the net loss for the same period was $4.9 million, or $.19 per diluted share, according to its fourth quarter and full year 2012 operating results. For the 12 months that ended Dec. 31, 2012, consolidated revenue was $389.2 million and net income was $19.3 million, or $.72 per diluted share.

"We have emphasized the cyclicality of our business and our belief that 2012 was a year where we positioned GulfMark to take advantage of the strong upside that appears to be developing," said Bruce Streeter, president and CEO of GulfMark Offshore, in a released statement. "Since 2009, we have seen year-over-year improvement in the global market for our vessels, and we continue to see an improving and expanding marketplace as we look ahead."

Barclays Capital believes that the company will be a key player of the strengthening vessel market conditions in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and the recent demand increase in the North Sea which will help expand its earnings power into 2014.

"Recent operational disruptions in Southeast Asia are likely transitory, in our view, and we expect utilization levels in that region to improve towards 2H13," the advisors stated in an equity report. "Offshore rig demand remains high, newbuild deliveries will likely tighten vessel markets globally throughout 2013 and GLF's high-spec fleet should drive margin improvement."

The GOM is developing into a very strong market, with utilization levels near 100 percent for several of the weeks thus far this year, Streeter said. The North Sea continues to be a strong market and current indications point to a meaningful increase in drilling activity for the 2013 season, Streeter added.

For 2013, the company has 11 vessels under construction, eight of which will be delivered during the year, with another three vessels undergoing renovations.

"Operating costs, driven largely by mariner labor costs, continue to put pressure on profitability, but we are pushing costs through to operators as contracts roll over and anticipate that these cost pressures will wane as the current backlog of new vessels are delivered in 2013 and 2014," Streeter said.

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