Oil-service stocks boost Index

The WorkBoat Composite Index began 2006 with a bang, jumping over 11 percent in January. 

For the month, winners topped losers by a ratio of 17-1. 

Oil-service issues were hot in 2005 and in January they sizzled.

Big oil-service gainers included Tidewater, up 31 percent, and Superior Energy and Trico Marine Services, both up 29 percent. Tidewater’s fiscal third-quarter revenue jumped 25 percent and its net income tripled over the same period a year earlier. Shares of Tidewater hit a new 52-week high in January.

Manitowoc rose on news that its earnings would come in at the high end of its previous guidance. Fourth-quarter earnings were 59 cents a share compared to 19 cents a year earlier. The company’s three main segments, including marine, all improved in 2005. “The marine segment made great strides during 2005 to improve its performance,” said Terry D. Growcock, Manitowoc’s chairman and chief executive officer.              

                                — David Krapf 

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