OSLO, July 31 Oil and gas service firm Subsea
reported second-quarter earnings significantly above
expectations on Thursday and unveiled plans to buy back another
$200 million of its own shares.
Oslo-listed Subsea 7, which provides offshore construction
work for energy companies, said tendering activity remained
high, keeping its medium- to long-term outlook strong, even
though short-term spending cuts by some oil companies might
cloud the immediate outlook.
"In the light of continued strong performance, the
strength of the balance sheet and confidence in our business,
the board of directors has authorised a further share repurchase
programme of up to $200 million," Subsea 7 said a statement.
"This decision reaffirms our policy of returning excess cash
to shareholders both in the form of share repurchases and
dividends," it said.
The buyback comes on top of a $200 million share repurchase
programme just completed.
In Brazil, where the firm has struggled with a project for
Petrobras and has taken big write offs, work has
overcome the biggest hurdles and was now progressing according
But in Mexico, where the firm is working on a contract for
Pemex in the Bay of Campeche, construction was challenging,
resulting in extra costs, and Subsea 7 expected protracted talks
with the operator about recovering these costs.
Subsea 7's second-quarter adjusted earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to $452
million from $139 million a year earlier, well ahead of
expectations for $372 million.
It also maintained its full-year guidance for revenue to
rise compared to 2013 and adjusted EBITDA to increase
"moderately" from 2013 but said that the murky short term
outlook made it too difficult to guide beyond 2014.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi. Editing by Jane Merriman)