Cal Dive International, Inc. reported first quarter 2008 net income of $0.6 million, or $.01 per diluted share compared to $30.1 million and $.36 per diluted share for the same period of 2007. The decrease is primarily due to lower vessel utilization related to winter weather seasonality during the first quarter and is in line with the Company's expectations for 2008. The Company took advantage of the slower period by scheduling close to half of its annual regulatory required drydock and capital improvement out of service days in the first quarter. During the first quarter of 2007, the Company continued to experience a high level of hurricane repair activity and earned stand-by revenue for many of its vessels despite winter weather work interruptions.
Despite the slow first quarter, the Company's backlog has increased to approximately $450 million as of April 30, 2008 from $175 million as of December 31, 2007. It is expected that approximately 90% of this backlog will be performed during the remainder of 2008. Based on the strength of this backlog and the outlook for new construction and inspection, repair and maintenance demand levels during the good weather months, the Company is re-affirming its annual earnings guidance range for the year.
Quinn Hebert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cal Dive, stated "We are very excited about the way the market is shaping up. Our customers' confidence and capital spending forecasts are translating into a high level of tendering activity. The East Coast project is a big win for us and it demonstrates the strategic rationale for the recent acquisition of Horizon through the integrated diving, derrick barge and pipelay services we are providing under this project. This contributed to the growth in our backlog to approximately $450 million.
We just weathered a slow first quarter in the Gulf of Mexico but our work outside the Gulf and in international markets remained strong as we earned 50% of our revenues there. That more than doubles the revenues earned outside the Gulf in the first quarter of 2007."
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