SEACOR SMIT announced net earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002 of $11,406,000, or $0.55 per fully diluted share, on operating revenues of $103,643,000.
In the comparable quarter ended March 31, 2001, SEACOR earned $12,134,000, or $0.62 per fully diluted share, on operating revenues of $93,200,000. Net earnings in the immediately preceding quarter ended December 31, 2001 were $18,679,000, or $0.93 per fully diluted share, on operating revenues of $109,804,000.
Operating revenues declined $6,161,000, or 5.6 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2001. Lower offshore marine revenues accounted for $4,723,000, or 77%, of this decrease. Fleet utilization declined in the U.S. but increased internationally. Worldwide rates per day worked were lower except for U.S. anchor handling towing supply and overseas supply and crew vessels. Marine related revenues also reflected lower gross income from vessel sales
and time out of service while converting a supply boat to standby safety service
. Offsetting these declines were additional revenues generated by new vessels added to the fleet and the return to service of certain vessels previously relocated between operating regions. The remaining $1,438,000, or 23%, decline in operating revenues resulted primarily from less retainer fees and spill response activity of the company's environmental service business.
Fifteen U.S. utility vessels were permanently removed from service at the beginning of 2002 and are being held for sale. Excluding the effect on utilization of these vessels, which did not operate in either the fourth or first quarter, worldwide fleet utilization was
80.6 percent in the first quarter of 2002, down from 83.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Twenty-eight additional vessels, primarily U.S. utility and crew, were out-of-service at the end of the first quarter due to market conditions.