Conrad Industries Inc., Morgan City, La., announced its first quarter 2017 results yesterday. For the quarter ended March 31, 2017, Conrad's net income was $119,000 and earnings were two cents a share. That compares to net income of $2.6 million and earnings of 49 cents a share during the first quarter of 2016.

Results for the March 31, 2016, quarter included research and development tax credits of $579,000. No research and development tax credits are included in the results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

Conrad's backlog was $183 million on March 31, 2017, compared to $216.5 million on Dec. 31, 2016, and $189.9 million on March 31, 2016.

Johnny Conrad, president and CEO, said in a statement, "Our results reflect a continued difficult operating environment and we expect 2017 to be another challenging year. Although our bid activity has been good and we see some opportunities, our new construction segment was adversely affected by a soft market for energy transportation, increased pricing pressure, and customer delays on large project orders. Our repair and conversion segment continues to be impacted by low crude oil prices and there continues to be little visibility due to the short-term nature of this work.

"In addition, our first-quarter operating results were affected by losses on the LNG barge," Conrad continued. "Despite the losses we have incurred on the construction of the LNG barge, the first vessel of its kind ever constructed in North America, we believe that we have developed the resources to establish ourselves as a leader in LNG marine-related construction in North America."

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.