Maritrans Adds to Fleet as Profit Jumps

Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Maritrans Inc. reported net income for the quarter ended March 31 was $5.8 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $3.7 million, or 43 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the first quarter of 2006 was $47.4 million, compared to $43.5 million in the year-ago period. Tampa-based Maritrans which primarily provides marine transportation services for petroleum products in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard, said utilization of its fleet was lower in the first quarter of 2005 than in the year-ago period. In a release, Jonathan Whitworth, chief executive, said higher than expected refinery maintenance cut the volume of products available to move and lowered results. Net income for the just-ended first quarter included $4 million in insurance proceeds, resulting in a gain of $2.9 million or 15 cents a share, related to the loss of the tugboat Valour, the release said. Three crewmembers died when the tug sank in January off the coast of North Carolina.

Maritrans said it has entered into a letter of intent and is close to finalizing an agreement with Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co. to build two new 8,000-horsepower tugboats, including one tug to replace the Valour. The new tugs are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, with a total cost of $32 million. The company also is continuing with a program to rebuild barges and equip them with double hulls. The rebuild of the company's seventh barge began on Jan. 26, the release said, and will cost about $30 million. When it is completed by the third quarter of this year, Maritrans expects to rebuild an eighth barge, also for $30 million. Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal

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