The dividend was declared during a regular meeting of the board and is payable August 10, 2006, to shareholders of record on July 31, 2006.
Tidewater also announced that the board has authorized a new program for the company to spend up to $157.9 million to repurchase shares of its common stock in open-market or privately negotiated transactions. The company intends to use its available cash and, when considered advantageous, borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to fund the share repurchases. The repurchase program will end on the earlier of the date that all authorized funds have been expended or June 30, 2007, unless extended by the board.
On June 30, 2006, Tidewater’s previous share repurchase program expired with the company having purchased from July 25, 2005, through June 30, 2006, for $112.1 million, a total of 2,396,100 of its common shares, for an average price paid per common share of $46.79. The company did not fully expend the $120 million authorized by the board under this prior program, and the $7.9 million not expended was carried forward to the new share repurchase program along with an additional newly authorized $150 million.
“Tidewater's Board and management were very pleased with the results of the $120 million share repurchase program and believe that the new $157.9 million program to continue to repurchase common stock when its shares represent a significant market opportunity is a prudent and proactive use of the company's financial resources,” said Dean E. Taylor, Tidewater’s chairman, president, and CEO. “The company's positive operating environment coupled with our strong balance sheet and borrowing capacity will also continue to allow us the flexibility to pursue other attractive investment opportunities should they appear.”
Tidewater Inc. owns a fleet of more than 515 vessels that serve the global offshore energy industry.
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