UPDATE 2-Tidewater Q3 earnings lag Street view, shares fall

* Q3 shr $1.16 vs est of $1.20

* Q3 revenue down 21 pct

* Says continues to see softness in day rates

* Shares down as much as 5 percent
(Adds conference call details, analyst’s comments, updates
share movement)

By Arundhati Ramanathan

BANGALORE, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Tidewater Inc (TDW.N: ), which
provides marine transportation to the oil and gas industry,
reported third-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) that fell short of estimates and
said it does not see fundamentals improving till next calendar
year.

Although the onshore service sector is seeing firmer
pricing and a rise in rig count, the offshore segment is yet to
witness the trend, Chief Executive Dean Taylor said in a
conference call.

The CEO added that he does not expect to see significant
improvements in the fundamentals of the offshore sector before
2011.

Shares of the company fell as much as 5 percent to $46.04
earlier in the session, before recouping some of the losses to
trade down 3 percent at $47.05 Tuesday afternoon in the New
York Stock Exchange.

“The fact that they missed the headline earnings per share
numbers is probably why the stock is behaving the way it is
today,” Pritchard Capital analyst Jeffrey Spittel said.
The analyst said the trajectory of day rates and utilization,
especially in the international market, has not been
particularly great in the last few quarters.

On day rates, CEO Taylor said he continues to see softness,
adding that the recovery might not be as quick as some people
may think.

Analyst Spittel said it is going to be a measured recovery,
and the company’s latest results are further evidence to that.

“In the second half of this year, assuming oil is in $60 to
$80 per barrel price band and if there is any encouraging data
on the demand front, I think we’ll see an uptick in offshore
spending,” Spittel added.

For the quarter, the company’s net income was $59.9
million, or $1.16 per share, compared with $117 million, or
$2.28 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 21 percent to $286.5 million.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.20 per share
on revenue of $287.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.

Total fleet utilization for the quarter fell 14 percentage
points to 63.8 percent.

Penny Stocks

(Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan and Arup Roychoudhury in
Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

UPDATE 2-Tidewater Q3 earnings lag Street view, shares fall