Hurricane Season Translates Into Growth for Helix Energy (HELX)

 |  Includes: HELX, REM
by: Yaser Anwar

From Yahoo Finance on Helix Energy Solutions (HELX):

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. operates as an energy services company. The company provides alternative solutions for marginal field development, alternative development plans, field life extension, and abandonment to the oil and gas industry worldwide. (Y! Finance)

Catalysts that make HELX a buy:

* HELX's acquisition of Remington Oil and Gas (NYSEARCA:REM), if approved, will provide substantial backlog of activity for the company's marine contracting segment as well as a significant expansion of potential hydrocarbon production. REM's 280 Bcfe of proved reserves, and probable reserves of 1,100 Bcfe, would add significantly to HELX's existing reserves. HELX management has indicated that the acquisition would also enable the company to expand marine contracting work in the North Sea and Southeast Asia.

* Fourth quarter 05 revenues advanced 62% YOY, reflecting higher marine contracting activity on improved market conditions for both deepwater and shelf subsea construction.

* Gross margins in the 4th Q in the marine contracting segment reached 30% nearly double the 16% of a year earlier. For 06, excluding the potential REM acquisition, HELX expects overall revenue growth of about 28%, with higher gains seen in the marine contracting segment, and an overall widening of operating margins.

* The secret to HELX's success in such risky realms is technology - plus an attitude that ensures that the company profits from that technology. The need to squeeze more out of existing oil-fields. The average recovery rate for an oil-field remains a dismal 30% to 35%. In other words, of all the oil proven to exist in a given reservoir, companies typically get only about a third to market. So technology that (this is where HELX technology comes in play) that raises the recovery rate by just 5% would contribute much more to the bottom line than hunting for new elephant fields.

* Last year's hurricanes left HELX a backlog of contracts and work that still needs to be finished, and with this year's hurricane season expected to be as bad, I see backlogs growing.

* Lastly, "the markets have been so bad even the liars are complaining," (quote from Wall Street movie). HELX CEO bought shares worth $600K in May between $38-40. Insider buying, though not always, is a great indicator of stock performance; in this case, I wouldn't bet against it.

HELX 1-yr Chart

Dislcosure: I do not own any HELX shares