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Oceaneering Rises to Two-Year High on Higher Earnings, Forecast

27 October 2010

Oceaneering International Inc, the provider of underwater robots to the BP Plc oil spill cleanup work, rose the most in almost two years after reporting third- quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates by 14 cents.

Oceaneering, based in Houston, benefited in the quarter from increased work at BP’s Macondo well site in the Gulf of Mexico, which was damaged in an April 20 explosion. Oceaneering also raised earnings guidance for the year.

The company rose $7.05, or 13 percent, to $61.34 at 10:39 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. It rose as high as $62.17 in earlier trading, a 14 percent jump that was its highest intra-day move since Oct. 29, 2008.

“The impact from work following the BP spill continued to be strong,” Stephen Gengaro, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in New York, who rates the shares a “hold” and owns none, said today in a telephone interview. “We were looking for a little uptick; they surged.”

The company reported $17.1 million in operating income for its subsea projects unit, while Gengaro said he was expecting $8.5 million.

Net income in the third quarter rose to $59.2 million, or $1.09 per share, from $49.8 million, or 90 cents, a year earlier, Oceaneering said yesterday in a statement released after the close of trading.

The company expects earnings per share this year to be in a range between $3.57 and $3.62, up from a previous forecast of $3.20 to $3.40, Oceaneering said in the statement.

That will “likely be the best in Oceaneering’s history,” Chief Executive Officer T. Jay Collins said in the statement. Collins estimated 2011 earnings per share will be in the range of $3.45 to $3.75, “with the possibility of another record year.”