Oceaneering profits up 38 percent in Q4

Oceaneering International has its sights set on the subsea, and it’s paying off.

Oceaneering reported fourth quarter net income of $80.6 million, or 74 cents per share, up from $58.3 million, or 54 cents per share for the same period in 2011. The offshore oil field services provider recorded revenue of $780.9 million for the fourth quarter, up from revenue of $574.2 million for the same period last year.

It’s a trend that Oceaneering expects to continue, as deepwater exploration accelerates in the Gulf of Mexico and in hot spots such as Brazil and West Africa.

“Looking beyond 2013, our belief that the oil and gas industry will continue to invest in deep-water projects remains unchanged,” said M. Kevin McEvoy, president and chief executive officer, in a written statement. “Deep water remains one of the best frontiers for adding large hydrocarbon reserves with high production flow rates at relatively low finding and development costs.”

For the year 2012, Oceaneering reported net income of $289.0 million, or $2.66 per share, on revenue of $2.8 billion. For the year 2011, net income was $235.7 million, or $2.16 per share, on revenue of $2.2 billion.

The earnings per share results, 74 cents for the fourth quarter, came in slightly higher than analysts’ consensus estimates of 73 cents, and a Sterne Agee estimate of 72 cents.

Sterne Agee analyst Stephen Gengaro expressed some concern about the relative weak earnings for Oceaneering’s remote operated vehicles sector in an earnings note, noting that “the soft results could weigh on shares at market open.” The sector reported $61.1 million in profit, up from $59.1 million for the same time last year.

The company manufactures and supplies a range of subsea equipment and services, including remotely operated vehicles and other subsea products.

It recently began a three-year support vessel series contract with BP in offshore Angola.