Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Increase in Profit Year Over Year

Falling revenue did not prevent Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX) from reporting a profit boost in the third quarter. Helix Energy Solutions Group is an international offshore energy company that provides reservoir development solutions and other contracting services to the energy market as well as to its own oil and gas properties.

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Helix Energy Solutions Group Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Net income for the oil and gas equipment and services company rose to $46 million (43 cents per share) vs. $26.2 million (25 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 75.8% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 5.1% to $372.5 million from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: HLX fell in line with the mean analyst estimate of 43 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $346.3 million.

Quoting Management: Owen Kratz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix, stated, “Helix delivered another strong quarter as our Contracting Services segment continues to improve, with near full utilization of all three of our well intervention vessels and our two reeled pipelay vessels. In addition, utilization in our Robotics business continued to improve even as we added two new ROV units to the fleet. Our Oil and Gas business performed very well despite some production disruptions associated with pipeline issues and tropical storm activity. Helix generated healthy cash flow from operations during the quarter, and also paid down an additional $75 million of gross debt via the repurchase of a portion of our senior unsecured notes. I am pleased to announce that we are increasing our EBITDAX guidance for the remainder of 2011 given our current market visibility.”

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue increases. The best quarter in that span was the third quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw revenue rise 81.8%.

The company fell in line with estimates last quarter after topping expectations in the previous two quarters. In the second quarter, it topped the mark by 21 cents, and in the first quarter, it was ahead by 15 cents.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next quarter performance are higher than they were ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fourth quarter has risen to 37 cents per share from 18 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from 83 cents a share to $1.38 over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: Global Industries, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GLBL), Oceaneering International (NYSE:OII), TETRA Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:TTI), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), Technip (TKPPY), McDermott International (NYSE:MDR), Willbros Group, Inc. (NYSE:WG), Superior Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE:SPN), Basic Energy Services, Inc (NYSE:BAS), and Subsea seven SA (NASDAQ:SUBC).

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(Source: Xignite Financials)