GulfMark Offshore Provides Operational Update
GulfMark Offshore Inc. announced positive guidance for the third and fourth quarter 2001 earnings outlook as well as an update to its forward contract cover position occasioned by several new contracts.
Mr. Bruce Streeter, president & COO of GulfMark, said "Recently there have been a number of downward revisions announced in the earnings expectations for public companies in the supply boat sector of oilfield services issued by both the companies and the analysts that cover them. These revisions have been attributed to the slowdown in the U.S. economy and downward pressure on commodity prices resulting in decreased expectations for oil service activity. Despite the negative impact of these factors on both the financial and commodity markets, GulfMark has been able to maintain the momentum established throughout the first half of the year. We anticipate the 3rd quarter will exceed analysts' estimates and, although early in the quarter, the 4th quarter could also be above analysts' expectations. This is all due to improvements in our contract position for the balance of the year 2001 as well as 2002." GulfMark announced that ASCO plc agreed to a five-year charter plus options for the Company's new construction platform supply vessel, a UT 745 design slated for delivery in March 2002. In addition, ASCO plc also chartered the Stream Truck, a UT 745 PSV acquired in the Sea Truck acquisition, for a three-year period plus options, with the contract scheduled to begin in the middle of the 4th quarter of 2001. ASCO plc has indicated that these vessels would enhance their capability to meet the high specification demands of their customers well into the middle of the decade.
The Company also announced a number of additional contract commitments which were finalized in recent weeks including: (1) the bareboat chartered AHTS operating in Brazil has been extended into June of 2002; (2) the one-year contract of Southeast Asia based Seawhip (included in previous contract cover statistics) started during the second half of August; (3) the Company was advised the contract for the Sea Conquest operating in Malaysia was being extended for one year into October 2002; (4) several of the North Sea based vessels had options exercised for the balance of 2001 and substantially all of 2002 (North Challenger, Highland Champion and Mercury Bay); (5) the Highland Warrior and Highland Champion were awarded six-month contracts starting when the current charter commitments are complete; and (6) two of the Company's North Sea based vessels were awarded construction season contracts for 2002 totaling a minimum of 170 days.