Separately, Trico announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a program for the Company to repurchase up to $100 million of its common stock.
Summary Results (In thousands, except per share data and day rates) For the three months ended months ended June 30, 2007 March 31, 2007 -------------- -------------- Charter hire revenues $ 57,899 $ 60,667 Operating income 5,291 20,783 Net income 4,434 14,584 Diluted EPS $ 0.29 $ 0.95 Day Rates: Supply / Anchor Handling (North Sea class) $ 23,885 $ 24,466 Supply Vessels (Gulf class) (1) 9,724 9,720 Utilization: Supply / Anchor Handling (North Sea class) 86% 92% Supply Vessels (Gulf class) (1) 74% 70% (1) Excludes five vessels transferred to EMSL Joint Venture that are on bareboat charters.
Second Quarter Results
Charter hire revenues decreased primarily due to lower utilization for Trico's North Sea class vessels as a result of time spent by vessels in dry dock and mobilization of one vessel from West Africa to the North Sea. Spot rates for AHTS vessels in the second quarter continued to be robust. For the Company's Gulf class vessels, day rates and utilization remained steady from the first to second quarters of 2007, excluding the impact of vessels under bareboat agreements.
Direct operating expense increased $5.6 million in the second quarter of 2007 compared with the prior quarter primarily due to maintenance and classification (M&C) costs on four North Sea class vessels compared to one North Sea class vessel in the prior quarter. To satisfy customer requirements, one dry-docking was delayed from the first quarter to the second quarter and another was accelerated from the third quarter to the second quarter. Additionally, a third North Sea class vessel was dry docked due to a customer request to upgrade the vessel and resulted in a new five-year contract at attractive day rates. These dry docks were all a result of regulatory class work. A combination of strong customer demand, higher shipyard and labor costs and a lack of availability within shipyards led to higher average dry docking costs on these vessels than had been incurred on previous dry dockings. Second quarter M&C expenses included over half of the North Sea class vessels that were scheduled for dry-docking in 2007.
In addition, general and administrative (G&A) expenses increased in comparison to the first quarter by $3.2 million primarily due to an increase in legal and consulting fees related to a recently completed proxy contest and pursuit of acquisition opportunities that did not lead to a completed transaction.
For the period July 1 through July 27, 2007, day rates for North Sea class vessels averaged $23,724 with utilization of 90% while day rates for our Gulf class supply vessels averaged $9,556 with utilization of 88%, or 91% for all actively marketed vessels.
Joseph S. Compofelice, Trico's Chairman, and CEO commented, "Our quarterly results were in line with our recently issued guidance, and reflected the higher levels of dry docking expense incurred when we dry docked a larger than expected number of North Sea class vessels in the quarter. We are pleased to have 21 of 27 of our scheduled dry dockings for 2007 behind us. The acceleration of our dry docking calendar was the result of strong customer demand for our vessels going forward and underscores the strength that we continue to see in our important North Sea market."
Mr. Compofelice continued, "Looking ahead, we are optimistic about rates and utilization for the second half of 2007. Activity levels are robust in the North Sea and in West Africa. In our Gulf of Mexico market, day rates and utilization remain steady. We will focus on growing these core markets and managing our operating and overhead costs. At the same time we expect to execute our strategy of rejuvenating our fleet, expanding into growing markets internationally and seeking attractive opportunities that allow us to grow our earnings and increase value for our shareholders."
Stock Repurchase Program
Trico also announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a program for the repurchase of up to $100 million of aggregate purchase price of its common stock from time to time in open market transactions, including block purchases, or in privately negotiated transactions. The stock may be purchased on a discretionary basis as determined by management, subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements, available cash on hand and other factors. At current market prices, approximately 20% of the Company's 14.9 million outstanding shares could be repurchased under this program. Trico expects that such repurchases may be made at any time during the next 12 to 18 months.
Trico stated that the repurchase program does not include specific price targets or timetables and may be modified or suspended at any time and could be terminated prior to completion. The repurchase program is subject to compliance with federal law limiting foreign ownership of Trico shares. Repurchased shares will be added to Trico's treasury stock, and could be used for employee benefit plans, future acquisitions or other corporate purposes.
Trico said that its largest stockholder, Kistefos AS, supports the repurchase program and has agreed in principle to participate in it both to assure compliance with the federal law referred to above and in order to maintain its approximately 20.2% ownership interest in the Company. Kistefos and the Company are finalizing the terms of Kistefos's participation in the program, and the Company is evaluating the need for similar arrangements with other foreign stockholders.
Mr. Compofelice added: "This repurchase program underscores our Board's confidence that the Company's strategy will continue to generate strong levels of cash flow. We remain committed to our refleeting plan as the market for our services remains strong. However, in light of current equity market conditions, the Board of Directors has concluded that a stock repurchase program is consistent with our commitment to creating and delivering shareholder value. Our current financial position allows us to undertake this program, while retaining the financial flexibility necessary to invest in our growth strategy, whether through the newbuild market or by pursuing appropriate acquisition opportunities. Our goal remains to effectively balance the use of our cash, on one hand by returning capital, and on the other, by growing our business."
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