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Global Industries, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLBL-OLD)

Q1 2010 Earnings Call

May 6, 2010 10:00 AM ET

Executives

John Reed - CEO

Peter Atkinson - President

Andy Smith - CFO

Trudy McConnaughhay - VP & Corporate Controller

Analysts

Jim Rollyson - Raymond James

Martin Malloy - Johnson Rice

Joe Gibney - Capital One

Graham Mattison - Lazard

Michael Marino - Stephens

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Operator

Welcome to Global Industries first quarter earnings conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.

On the call this morning are John Reed, Chief Executive Officer; Peter Atkinson, President; Andy Smith, Chief Financial Officer; and Trudy McConnaughhay, Vice President and Corporate Controller.

I’d now like to turn the call over to Mr. Andy Smith. Sir, please begin.

Andy Smith

Thank you. Good morning. I’d like to welcome everyone to Global Industries first quarter 2010 earnings conference call. This call is being recorded and will be available on our website at www.globalind.com.

Before we begin, I’d like to remind everyone, certain of our comments and responses to questions reflect our current views and assumptions and are consider forward-looking statements as defined and securities laws and regulations and may include risk and uncertainties, which are more fully described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Interested parties are directed to our website for access to our SEC filing.

Now, I’ll turn it over to our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. John Reed. John.

John Reed

Good morning and welcome to our call. On our call this morning, we will cover operational and financial results. Before we do, I’d like to say a few words about the quarter and our plans going forward. First, we’re clearly disappointed with our first quarter results. The current market for our services is depressed and as a result pricing is suffered.

In this environment execution is crucial. We will continue to improve our execution in all aspects of our business to achieve satisfactory result regardless of market condition. Our favorable market conditions are clearly preferred most actively managed for robust and lien times to that end we’re pursuing a number of initiatives.

First, we’re focused on utilization of our assets and rationalization of our fleet. Over the past few months, we’ve taken a hard look at our fleet and made decisions about some assets and their contribution to our strategic plans. During the quarter we classified two Assets held for sale as they no longer made our needs, assets which are underutilized in effective or inefficient will continued to be evaluated.

Second, we must continue to better match expenses to the revenue for the current opportunities sets, so that we can maintain adequate profitability regardless of market condition. In addition to overall review of our cost structure, each of regional Senior Vice President has been asked to eliminate discretionary spending and to adjust their organizations overall cost structure.

Third, as most of you aware, we will be taking delivery of our newest vessel, the Global 1200 in the third quarter of this year. I’m happy to announce that the 1200 is on schedule and on budget. The 1200 and following it’s completion the 1201 will be the center split pieces of Global’s fleet and we’re currently forming and coordinating marketing operations and project management teams to support each vessel.

Finally, we must maintain our project execution, as many of our projects awarded as fixed price contract, best-in-class, risk management, and project management are imperatives. We recently added to the Global team, John Spratt as Vice President of Project Execution. John brings 30 years of experience in the offshore construction industry and comes from technique were he most recently served as Vice President of Operations.

We’re fortunate to have John on Board and look forward to supporting him and his efforts to further improve our execution. So before I turn it over to Andy for the financial results, I want to say that while the headwinds in the industry still exist, we look forward to an improving backlog throughout the remainder of the year. Andy

Andy Smith

Thanks John. For the first quarter of 2010, consolidated revenues were $106.8 million compared with $269.5 million for the same quarter last year. Gross loss was $4.2 million in the first quarter, compared to gross profit of $45.4 million in the same quarter last year. Net loss attributable to common shareholders was $21.4 million or $0.19 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2010, compared to net income of $19 million or $0.17 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2009.

Before I discuss the overall results of operations, I’d like to address a few specific items negatively affecting the quarter. During the quarter, we recognized increased non-cash stock compensation expense of $1.8 million associated with a one-time special grant of equity award to managerial personnel. We also transferred two DSVs to Assets held for sale and took an impairment charge of $700,000 to write these assets down to net realizable value.

Also during the quarter, we resold approximately $11 million of auction rate securities back to the original issuer at a $500,000 discount, which we recognized as a loss on the sales of marketable equity securities during the quarter. Finally, the structure of our international operations resulted in a reverse tax effects idle assets, which continued to incur cost were accounted for a low tax rate into these which serve to reduce the tax benefit we will receive from our losses during the quarter.

Our consolidated tax rate during the quarter was 16% versus our consolidated tax rate last year of 35%, the difference resulting in approximately $4.8 million of net loss for the quarter. Combining this is resulted in net losses of $7.3 million or roughly $0.06 per common diluted share for the quarter.

Now, let me get to the income statement in a little more detail. During the quarter, we booked $113.5 million of new work and at March 31, 2010, our backlog stood at $110.4 million. The bookings were distributed among our portable segments as follows. Asia Pacific, Middle East 78 million, Latin America 19.7 million, North America 12.7 million. As described earlier, our revenue fell approximately 60% versus the comparable quarter last year. This decrease was due to lower activity in all our reporting segments, which Peter will discuss in greater detail later in the call.

That reduction in revenue has a magnified effect on gross profit (inaudible) gross loss as fixed cost associated with underutilized vessels resulted in lower overall profitability. Gross loss for the quarter was $4.2 million versus the gross profit $45.4 million for the comparable quarter last year. The underutilization can be described to poor industry conditions, seasonality in the Gulf of Mexico and significant downtime and cost incurred on the Global Orion for repair of a damaged crane.

We continued to actively manage our SG&A spend. In the first quarter of 2010, SG&A totaled $17.5 million, a decrease of $2.4 million over the same period last year. Interest income of $200,000 for the first quarter of 2010 decreased from $600,000 in the first quarter of 2009, primarily as a result of lower interest rates on our cash investments.

I will point out that our remaining auction rate securities of $30.8 million are covered by an agreement, whereby we can put the bonds back to the underwriter at par value on June 30, 2010. At this point, we indented to do so and as such of recognizing no impairment on our remaining auction rate securities.

Turning to cash flows for the quarter, total decrease in cash for the quarter of $37.8 million consisted $14.6 million of cash provided by operations, primarily a decreased in their working capital, $24.4 million of cash used in investing activities, including $32.3 million of capital expenditures on our two vessels in construction, the Global 1200 and 1201 offset by the redemption of $11 million of auction rate securities noted earlier and $28.5 million of cash used in financing activities primarily was related to scheduled deferred payment to vendors for major expenditures for the Global 1200 and 1201. As I discussed earlier, our tax rate for the quarter was 16%.

With that, I'll turn the conference over to Peter Atkinson for more details on operations during the quarter. Thank you.

Peter Atkinson

Thank you, Andy. Good morning everyone. I’ll be just discussing a few operational highlights for the quarter ending March 31 2010. Loss before taxes in our West African segment was $1.8 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared to income before taxes of $17.8 million for the first quarter of 2009.

Loss before taxes for the first quarter of 2010 was primarily due to non-recovered vessel costs associated with Shyang and Tornado, which apparently expecting team at Ghana and that held for sale. Although we curtailed our operation in West Africa in mid 2009, we're continuing our market efforts in this region.

Effective January 1, 2010, we combined our Middle East and Asia Pacific, India segments into the Asia Pacific, Middle East segment. Revenue in this combined segment declined $58.5 million to $33.6 million for the first quarter of 2010. The decrease was the result of decreased project activity in the region. Activity during the first quarter of 2010 consist two construction projects in Malaysia, compared to two construction projects in India, one project in Indonesia and the Berri and Qatif project in Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of 2009.

Income before taxes was $4.4 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $13.7 million for the first quarter of 2009. This $9.3 million decrease in income before taxes was primarily attributable to higher non-recovered vessel cost in the first quarter of 2010 due to decreased vessel utilization attributable to decreased project activity, partially offset by favorable settlement of change orders on the Berri and Qatif project.

Revenues in our Latin America segment decreased $42.8 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared with $76.3 million for the first quarter of 2009. During the first quarter of 2010, we progressed with on the six month tax supportive special project Petrobras in Brazil and the Ixtal and Campeche pipeline of projects in Mexico.

Loss before taxes was $9.1 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to income before taxes of $6 million for the first quarter of 2009. This decline between comparable quarters was attributable to lower margins and higher number of investment cost in the first quarter of 2010 due to decreased vessel utilization.

Revenues in our North America Subsea segment decreased $3.8 million, $27.8 million for the first quarter of 2010. Loss before taxes was $3.1 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared to income before taxes of $12 million for the first quarter of 2009.

Lower revenues due to decreased activity that Global Orion, Pioneer, Sica and Sea Fox were partially offset by increased utilization of the Olympic Challenger and Norman formerly [Run Commando; the Pioneer, which in dry dock the most of the quarter of 2010 and the Global Orion was undergoing major repairs and upgrade to its DT operation system on the crane for a significant portion of the quarter.

Revenues in our North America OCD segment were $3.9 million the first quarter of 2010, compared to $5.3 million for the first quarter of 2009. The loan revenues reflect decreased utilization to Turkey, which was partially offset by increased utilization of (Inaudible) constructor.

Loss before taxes was $7.2 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared to a loss of $12.2 million for the first quarter of 2009. This improvement of $5 million was primarily due to the reduction in vessel costs for the first quarter of 2010, the Hercules and Sea Constructor. During the first quarter of 2009 we incurred with power and maintenance costs associated with the return of these two vessels to work in the US Gulf of Mexico.

That concludes our prepared comments; and we will now take your questions. Thank you.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Jim Rollyson with Raymond James.

Jim Rollyson - Raymond James

I guess the good news in all of this for the quarter it was managing to replace your backlog and actually pick it up just slightly, but do you really curious to hear your characterizations on kind of kind of what the opportunities are out there right now? I think the slot process had been that bidding was pretty getting pretty active and you guys the industry not just you hoping that there will be some decent work pick up in this year pickup in overall activity by the second of the year heading into 2011 is that still the view or is that sliding a little to the right and kind of where do you see your best opportunities and maybe the worst markets?

Andy Smith

Yes, Jim I think it’s going to be slow going. I think we do still expect the improvement, we’re getting some seasonal pickup in the Gulf of Mexico, during the heavy work season, which should be expected but that’s okay, but I don’t expect any leap forward until much later as far as kind of best and worst it’s a little hard to say. I mean, Brazil obviously is the market that continues to expand and we expect that to continue. Our other markets are really kind of as I said, slow improvement over the remainder of the year and hopefully that momentum picks up as we go forward into 2011.

Jim Rollyson - Raymond James

So you’ll start to see some seasonal pickup I imagine, you mentioned the Gulf any positive and negatives coming our of the situation with BP are you pick it up any you work because of it, are there are any other hindrances of operations because of it, or cost things that are obviously that was sucking up a lot of both capacities kind of curious how all that is pulling out and affecting your business in the Gulf?

John Reed

Jim, it’s a little early first to respond to that. We’ve been hospitalizing on some of our bathrooms. It didn’t impacted on any of our projects in our particular region, we do have some work in the short-term in the Mississippi County and (Inaudible) and those regions that has not been impacted at the moment, that is more of wait and see whether it’s going to be an opportunity there for us or not the, but there’s no impact on efficient projects at the moment.

Jim Rollyson - Raymond James

Then just lastly I guess you talked about the 1,200 being on track is maybe biding activity for the 1,200 in the status of the 1,201 and if Andy, you can just kind of give us the latest kind of CapEx schedule for those and maybe how you guys feel about balance sheet relative to the CapEx, relative to the current market?

John Reed

This is John again. I’ll address the bidding part. I think it’s a just limit the rest of the fleets, there is bidding activity, it’s not a big increase that we can see so far where of course heavily concentrated on trying to get the first projects for the 1,200. Both the vessels are at this point, as we mentioned on schedule our budgets so we still expect delivering the third quarter of the 1,200. So that part of the activity going well it’s more focused on the market for us right now, I’ll let Andy answer the CapEx part.

Andy Smith

Yes, we’ve got about another $165 million this year, there will be spending on those two vessels and then going into 2011 another $85 million or so, so roughly from this point forward, about $250 million remaining to spend on the cash flow question, currently, I mean we feel like we’re on pretty good shape. We don’t have any issues and feeling certainly, we’ve got adequate cash flow between operations and what we’ve got now to see all that through, so no real issues from that standpoint.

Operator

Our next question comes from Martin Malloy with Johnson Rice; please go ahead.

Martin Malloy - Johnson Rice

Are you seeing any activity out of Pmax in terms of bidding opportunities?

John Reed

A little bit. They’re still pretty slow, but there is a few opportunities out there that there we are bidding currently.

Martin Malloy - Johnson Rice

In terms of the corporate expense, it ticks up here in the first quarter from where it was in the fourth quarter. Help us a little bit in terms of what we can expect on quarterly run rate going forward?

Andy Smith

Yes, I think you’ll expect something and we’re talking about the SG&A expense?

Martin Malloy - Johnson Rice

Both of that corporate expense and the operating income by segment?

Andy Smith

Yes, corporate expense will probably tick up just a touch as we’ve added a few folks and we’ll continue to add a few probably key people over the next six months or so, SG&A, in general will be little lower than it was this quarter I would expect for the remainder of the year probably something around $17 million at the run rate number.

Martin Malloy - Johnson Rice

Could you remind us of where your revolver capacity is currently?

Andy Smith

Revolver capacity currently is a $150 million, although that’s been reduced some asset sales of $110.8 million, I think as what has been reduced now, that we’ve talked about collateral assets?

Peter Atkinson

That’s correct. As we took some of the assets out of the collateral, we’ve reduced the available capacity on the revolver that we have the ability to reinstatement.

Andy Smith

There’s nothing drawn down on that except for letters of credit for existing projects.

Martin Malloy - Johnson Rice

With the letters of credit, do you say $10 million further or is that after the letters of credit?

Peter Atkinson

No, we’ve reduced the availability underneath the revolver.

Operator

Next question comes from Joe Gibney with Capital One; pleased go ahead

Joe Gibney - Capital One

I want to circle around on the US Gulf of Mexico subsea, what is the status of the standard now, relative to the Orion and its repair status with the crane and where we’re on a pioneer dry-dock. Just curious if you’re look into the 2Q, whether or not it would be assets we redeploy in the second quarter?

Peter Atkinson

Let me take the pioneer first. The pioneer was a schedule of dry-docking, it went in January and as part of the dry-docking we upgraded the DP controller system on that vessel. It came out of couple of days ahead of schedule, it probably had service in dry-docking for about 35, 36 days and then we had about 10 days of the doc, after that it is back at work and it is already in work and it started work in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Orion has been about 85 days as we then undergo major repairs on the Knuckle Boom Crane. We’ve also taking the opportunity to upgrade the control system on that particular crane. It scheduled by back in service on may 15, It’s on budget, as we expected it’s on the schedule and we all looking at some opportunities with go to work immediately after it comes back into service.

Joe Gibney - Capital One

John, question for you, on a rationalization side your fleet you put to DSVs for sale now. Could you expand a little bit about maybe what’s on the block, what you’re looking at, and I’m assuming it’s aging pipeline vessel that maybe would be next as just curious as you look at fleet rationalization maybe what’s next or replacing and where you want to go with this fleet going forward?

John Reed

Well, I think we’re taking it broad view of that in conjunction of course with the 1200 and 1201 coming out this year and next year, we want to make sure that the mix is right. So we’re still in the process of a evaluating, which assets fit best particularly around the new vessels, which hopefully expand our market capability, but we also want to protect the market were in. So we haven’t made specific decisions yet, but that’s an ongoing process as we more firmly target the new market that we’re going to be able to participate in.

Joe Gibney - Capital One

Relative to bookings at back half of the year, how your guys are looking, I appreciate a reasonable color. Brazil expanding sort of slow improvement elsewhere, in terms of timing of start up of some of the betting that you’re entertaining now, is it predominantly 2011 start up to work? Do you anticipate some others being faster turnaround, you might be able to start working to back half of the year?

John Reed

There’s always some short fuse things particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, but I would say kind of an international side these things tend to start up slower and so as I said earlier, I think its going to be a slow improvement in actual work. It should pickup somewhat in 2011, but as we aim a little bigger and a little deeper with the new vessels those project take a bit longer in the gestation period and that will push actual execution out even a little further probably.

Joe Gibney - Capital One

Andy, just quick one for you and welcome aboard by the way, just I missed your CapEx comment. What it was in the first quarter, can you just repeat that for me?

Andy Smith

CapEX in the first quarter was I think it was $58 million roughly.

Operator

Our next question comes from Graham Mattison with Lazard; please go ahead.

Graham Mattison - Lazard

I was wondering if I just ask a bit more looking to the Latin America, in terms if you can give us some more comment on the margins there and your outlook going forward in that area?

John Reed

This is John, I’ll comment on the outlook. As I said, I think Brazil is certainly the bright spot and they seem to be pushing ahead with their programs albeit somewhat delayed here and there on some of their bidding for there big drill rig program. However, still very nice underlying wave of projects out there for us to participate in. So, we feel that that will be continuing good market for us, Mexico as I said is still slow, but I think Pemex was starting to move again. So, we are looking forward to some improvements there and I’ll let Peter comment on the margin a bit.

Peter Atkinson

I’ll specific comments, Graham it was relative to a project that we undertook for Pemex in the first quarter they passed on time which was base 6 inch pipeline. We incurred greater than anticipated weather downtime on that project and we had some claims against Pemex relative to compensation for the weather down time and as we had to recognize those claims it has to press the margins on that different project.

Graham Mattison - Lazard

It’s really this is more of a type of one-off on the project rather than an overall competitive pressure on March?

Peter Atkinson

That was my comment.

Graham Mattison - Lazard

Then just last quarter you talked a project in the Middle East, that you guys were looking at, there has obviously been a lot of activity there on front-end awards there, just wondering if you could also give us an update there and as well an update on your relationship with work?

John Reed

(Belarus) probably was the project that I think you’re probably referring to, that project hasn’t been awarded yet, it’s still of interest to us. We are going to sign that I think shortly officially where we stand on that. But in general I would say about the Middle East is still relatively slow, some big projects moving through the system some of those are projects we would be interested in participating in, others I think are probably not our target market. So, again I think it’s a slow improvement.

Graham Mattison - Lazard

And then any comments on your [Belarus floor]?

John Reed

Well, that’s still ongoing still looking for opportunities. We did this [Belarus] project I mentioned with them. So, we are waiting to see some of the result that as I mention and still working with them to identify the right targets for the combination.

Graham Mattison - Lazard

They are producing, may an awarded some front-end engineering work in the Middle East quite significant announcement that they had recently on mark that, that is purely engineering and it doesn’t any installation at this point, but those are significant projects, that they were awarded.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our next question is from Michael Marino with Stephens.

Michael Marino - Stephens

Question on I guess the Middle East, Asia Pac region now, the contract you guys signed with PETRONAS back in January, has that started yet and what’s progress there?

Peter Atkinson

We are mobilized the 264 into Malaysia. We completed a project for PCPP earlier in the quarter and then we mobilized into Asia. In March to commence overcome that deadly project, we’re running inside of our (inaudible) office and we expect that program to extend till August, September this year, it makes progressing fund.

Michael Marino - Stephens

So we see results from that region kick up in Q2, Q3?

Peter Atkinson

Certainly see the results in Q2 and Q3 from that project, yes.

Michael Marino - Stephens

And then just to understand correctly, in Latin America, it sounds like the stuff coming on to Pemex is for 2011 work is that correct?

John Reed

Somehow it is this year, but also 2011.

Michael Marino - Stephens

Okay. But I just want to make sure I hear you guys correctly, but it sounds like Latin America nothing to get excited about for this year in terms of work, it’s probably more of a 2011 event?

Peter Atkinson

It has got some prospects out there for execution in the second half of 2010, both Petrobras and Pemex need to go direct regarding awarding those things.

Operator

Our next question comes from Brad Handler with Credit Suisse. Please go ahead.

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Could you give us some more color please, around your operating cost management side, just trying to understand the latitude that you think you have, if you manage today’s environment, but as you said, not leave yourself unable to match what think comes. So maybe just some more color around the steps you can take.

John Reed

Well I think like everybody there is an efficiency drive that we probably haven’t completely taken advantage of, so we are looking to see given the revenue expectations and activity level that we have and combine that with our thoughts on rationalization. Are there some areas where we can continue to streamline, obviously there is always some discretionary spending that you can cut or delay, but maybe further then than there are better more efficient ways to organize ourselves given the current environment we are now.

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Can I guess that the consolidation of the Eastern Hemisphere regions is one such sort of over head reduction step?

John Reed

Yes, definitely.

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Okay that seems logistical, and an easy one from me on the outside to understand, are there ways that we may think of that happening in some other, you now don’t have very many region, I suppose, but it didn’t have happened in some other way that’s very tangible, Petrobras?

John Reed

Well, it’s hard to say at this moment, I’m not surely we can make that easy consolidation in other regions, but still again I think there are some opportunities to streamline the way we do things.

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Okay. On the other side of that I guess, you mentioned that you were looking for some key people and expected to add some key people, you obviously talked about one of them, but presumably there are others and can you give us a little bit of color that types of folks you are looking for?

John Reed

Well, I think we mentioned we want to continue to improve our project execution and obviously we mentioned John Spratt is going to be a big help in that regard, but that extents to engineering side as well. I think we want to focus our efforts on the business development side. So we are looking for folks who can bring those skills and capabilities to us.

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Okay. Is it possible to get a sense from you as to the rough number of key people, you’re at five, is it 10.

John Reed

I really can’t give you a good number at this point. We are still working that out.

Brad Handler - Credit Suisse

Okay, I understand. And then maybe just one more from me, can you give us a sense for an activity in Q1 or over the last six months, kind of how you think you’re activity has faired relative to the overall activities in the region, right? It seem like there was a period earlier certainly in ’09, where it seemed though some, it was very competitively is very heavy competitive environment, perhaps you were not keeping your fair shares in part based on strategy maybe Peter has directed you with a little more with the history, but did you think was that the case in Q1 is well? I’m just trying to get a sense of how much is the function of overall depressed activity versus “share”?

Peter Atkinson

That’s a tough question, Brad. But what I would say is that I think that impacted no one on newer vessels, the ship shaped vessels such as the Olympic Challenger. We did get good utilizations on those vessels in the first quarter, with the exception of the Pioneer Marine which (Inaudible) schedules dry-docking one-for-none scheduled maintenance and there is certainly opportunity there to work (Inaudible) has it been available for work. As far as the flat bottom barges, still is the older barges, I think we within our [fair share] the work that’s our there, it was seasonally flat in the first quarter.

Operator

(Operator Instructions)

Peter Atkinson

Okay if there are no more questions, that concludes our calls for today, and I’d like to thank you all for joining us today and your interest in Global Industries. Thank you very much.

With that we’re concluding the call.

Operator

Thank you very much for participating in today’s conference call. You may disconnect at this time.

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