Seacor Marine Holdings Inc. announced its fourth quarter earnings today, which included improved results, the Houston-based OSV operator said.

Fourth quarter highlights include:

  • Total operating revenues increased 43.8% as compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Cash flows from operating activities increased to $11.9 million from $5.6 million in the prior quarter.
  • Operating loss decreased by $24.6 million to $11.2 million from $35.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing a 68.8% year-over-year improvement.
  • Consolidated direct vessel profit increased 32.8% to $28.8 million from $21.7 million in the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 146% from $11.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, and an increase of 189.4% to $78.5 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2018 from $27.1 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Expanded presence in Brazil through the formation of a new joint venture to acquire UP Offshore.


"Our business improved steadily throughout the year and we closed 2018 with our sixth consecutive quarterly increase in direct vessel profit, and nearly doubled our cash flow from operating activities from the prior quarter," CEO John Gellert said in a statement.

"This improvement is especially notable as the last quarter of the year is usually a seasonally slow period of activity for our liftboats in the Gulf of Mexico and crew transfer vessels (CTVs) in the North Sea," Gellert continued. "To the extent there was some seasonal reduction it was offset by improved results from nearly all other classes of vessels and a one-time recognition of previously deferred revenues in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

"As part of our continued commitment to actively managing our fleet, we sold an additional six fast support vessels (FSVs), two liftboats and one standby safety vessel during the fourth quarter, taking us to a total of 16 vessel dispositions for 2018. These sales were offset during 2018 by the addition of two CTVs and six liftboats as well as the net addition of 16 vessels to the managed fleet through non-consolidated joint ventures. As of December 31, 2018, the net book value of our property and equipment was $681.5 million, an increase of $61.8 million compared to the end of 2017. Collectively, the sale transactions in the fourth quarter generated a net gain of $3.8 million before asset impairments. The improvement in 2018 and positive beginning to 2019 is encouraging. We hope for continued upticks in demand and believe our asset base and geographical reach place us in a unique position."

In the U.S., primarily the Gulf of Mexico, vessel profit was $11 million compared with $6.6 million in the preceding quarter, a $4.4 million improvement. Time charter revenues were $1.8 million lower compared with the preceding quarter, of which $1.5 million related to the liftboat fleet, primarily due to lower utilization. Other marine services revenues were $6 million higher compared with the previous quarter, primarily due to the recognition of previously deferred revenue. On a total fleet basis, including coldstacked vessels, utilization of the fleet decreased from 30% to 29%, and average day rates increased from $12,476 to $12,656. Primarily due to net fleet dispositions, days available for charter decreased by 13% and operating expenses decreased by $200,000. As of Dec. 31, 2018, Seacor had 18 of 30 owned and leased-in vessels coldstacked in the U.S. (six anchor handling/towing supply (AHTS) vessels, five FSVs, six liftboats and one specialty vessel) compared with 22 of 38 vessels as of Sept. 30, 2018. As of Dec. 31, 2018, the company had five vessels retired and removed from service in this region (four AHTS vessels and one supply vessel).

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.