Index gets hammered in May


After four months of gains, the WorkBoat Composite Index, like the broader market, took it on in the chin in May. For the month, the Index lost 112 points, or 6.6 percent, with losing issues topping winners 25-7.

The Suppliers Index gave up the most ground, losing over 200 points, or 8 percent. Big percentage losers included Global Industries, Cal Dive, Cummins Engine and Deere & Co.

Shares of Global Industries plunged 36 percent in May. The oil service company posted a first-quarter loss of $34 million, or 30 cents a share loss. The analysts’ consensus was a loss of one cent a share. Revenue was down 35 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010.

 In a prepared statement accompanying the quarterly results, CEO John Reed said, “Our first-quarter results reflect the continued low level of project activity worldwide, as well as the seasonal downturn which is typical for this time of year.”

About the only good news Global reported was that project awards for the first quarter were $147.6 million, resulting in a backlog on March 31 of $248 million, an increase of $138 million from the year earlier period.

“In general, our markets remain difficult for the remainder of 2011, and we don’t expect significant opportunities until 2012,” Reed said in the company’s May 5 conference call with analysts. “We see the Gulf of Mexico slowly increasing as we stated before. However, the pace will mirror the permitting speed.”

Cal Dive shares lost over 17 percent in May after the offshore service provider posted a worse-than-expected first-quarter loss of 20 cents a share. Utilization of the company’s diving vessels and barges, however, increased during the quarter. 





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