Houston-based Tidewater Inc. announced today first-quarter revenue of $83.5 million compared with $116.4 million for the three months ending March 31, 2020, missing analysts consensus estimate by $5.5 million.

Tidewater's net losses for the three months ending March 31, 2021, were $35.3 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with $18.4 million, or 46 cents a share, for the three months ending March 31, 2020. Included in the net losses for the first quarter were severance expenses of $100,000.

Quintin Kneen, Tidewater’s president and CEO, said in a statement, "I am pleased to report that we once again generated free cash flow for the latest quarter. In the first quarter of 2021, we generated $19.2 million of free cash flow and for the trailing 12 months, which were the most difficult 12 months the company has ever seen, we generated $87.1 million of free cash flow.

"Since late 2018, we have dedicated ourselves to building an offshore vessel company that is able to generate positive free cash flow throughout the business cycle by optimizing the earnings potential of the fleet, being the lowest cost operator and by adroitly managing drydocks and capital investments," Kneen continued. "The shore base infrastructure we have built is highly scalable and the operations have a substantial degree of operating leverage. I look forward to the acceleration in cash generation that will result from combined benefit of higher day rates as we enter a more balanced supply and demand environment and the lower per unit administrative cost of our scalable shore based infrastructure as more vessels are put to work.

“Compared to the first quarter of last year, revenue was down 28%, which is in line with the expectations we set out on the first quarter call last year after the pandemic broke. Operating costs were down 23%. Pandemic-driven inefficiencies kept operating expenses a bit higher than they otherwise would have been," said Kneen. "General and administrative costs are down 25% since the first quarter of 2020. We have demonstrated again that we can swiftly and seamlessly adjust the scale of our operations to meet market demand.

“Our ongoing fleet development program includes the sale or recycling of vessels that are deemed uneconomic or that otherwise do not meet our future strategic goals, and during the first quarter we disposed of six vessels for $11 million.

“During the quarter, we reduced outstanding debt by $26.4 million and decreased our net debt position by $14.4 million. We ended the quarter with $143.4 million of cash on hand. We repurchased $11.8 million of the 2022 bonds at 100.5% of par during the first quarter.

“As highlighted in our recently issued inaugural sustainability report, which I encourage you to read, although 2020 posed many unique challenges, nothing caused us to waver from our environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. While the report covers a great deal of what we have and continue to strive to achieve, I want to underscore that maintaining a safe working environment for our employees is a cornerstone of the Tidewater culture. During calendar year 2020, our employees clocked in more than 17 million hours and we had no lost time incidents. This is a tremendous achievement and I want to thank all of our employees for their dedication to creating a safe working environment,” Kneen concluded.

Tidewater will hold a conference call to discuss first-quarter results for the three months on May 7, 2021, at 8 a.m. central time. Investors and interested parties may listen to the earnings conference call via telephone by calling +1-888-771-4371 if calling from the U.S. or Canada (+1-847-585-4405 if calling from outside the U.S.) and asking for the “Tidewater” call just prior to the scheduled start time. A live webcast of the call will also be available in the Investor Relations section of Tidewater’s website at investor.tdw.com