Trico Marine Services, Inc. announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 reporting quarterly net income of $10.9 million, or $0.73 earnings per share (diluted), which included a $2.8 million pre-tax gain on sale of non-revenue generating assets, or $0.12 earnings per share (diluted). By comparison, our fourth quarter net income was $30.7 million or $2.08 earnings per share (diluted) including $13.1 million or $0.89 earnings per share (diluted), due to favorable changes in the Norwegian Tonnage Tax regime.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Joe Compofelice, commented, "Our first quarter results reflect the Company's continued success in executing our long-term strategy. During the quarter the markets were strong in the North Sea, West Africa and Mexico, with some softness in the Gulf of Mexico which improved after the end of the quarter. We did, however, mobilize three vessels from our domestic fleet to international areas for term contracts. While the cost of mobilizing these vessels impacted our first quarter results, our future earnings will be enhanced by positioning these vessels in high growth markets with term contracts. Eastern Marine Services Limited (EMSL), our joint venture with China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), was profitable during the quarter, its first quarter of profitability since commencement of operations in July 2006. EMSL's growth and profitability are an important part of our plan to expand into emerging markets, creating value for our shareholders."
Charter hire revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 were $58.1 million, a $5.0 million decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. This decrease can be attributed to a combination of a reduction in spot AHTS rates in the North Sea from the record rates in the fourth quarter of 2007, lower utilization for supply vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and the loss of revenues from three vessels being mobilized internationally. Direct operating expenses for the quarter increased $3.6 million compared to the prior quarter due to increased repairs and maintenance expenses and mobilization costs to move vessels internationally.
In April 2008 (through April 25, 2008), AHTS day rates averaged $31,035 with utilization of 76%, PSV day rates averaged $17,734 with utilization of 91%, OSV day rates averaged $7,692 with utilization of 83%, and SPSV day rates averaged $23,235 with utilization of 68%.
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