Seacor Reports Lower Second-Quarter Earnings
Seacor Holdings, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., recently announced second quarter results for its inland transportation and logistics services, chiefly SCF Marine Inc., citing a severe disruption to bulk transportation activities due to flooding.
Released July 24, the announcement said operating income (loss) and OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) were ($1.5 million) and $4.2 million in the second quarter, compared with $2.1 million and $8.3 million in the same quarter a year ago. Operating income (loss) and OIBDA included gains on asset dispositions of $0.3 million and $0.5 million in the 2019 and 2018 second quarters, respectively.
Operating results in the second quarter of 2019 were impacted by prolonged flooding throughout the inland waterways, the announcement said. Dry-cargo barge pool revenues declined year over year but were offset by lower operating expenses, primarily towing costs. Flooding, which closed the St. Louis harbor for 45 days during the quarter, restricted activity at the company’s terminal and fleeting locations, so much so that the volumes handled by the company’s terminals in the St. Louis area were approximately 60 percent lower in the quarter compared with a year ago, said the announcement.
“The flooding was historic in both duration and breadth of the river system that was affected,” said Charles Fabrikant, executive chairman. “The Lower Mississippi River at Baton Rouge has been above flood stage since January and likely won’t fall below flood stage until late August, exceeding a record that dates to the 1920s. The immediate impact from the high water was a 26 percent reduction of exports through the center Gulf in the second quarter compared with a year ago.
“The effects will continue, as corn production is expected to decline due to the delay in planting the current year crop. We have already seen a spike in corn and bean prices, which negatively impacts the export market further. The flooding also significantly impacted the Upper Mississippi, Illinois and Arkansas rivers. Our terminal and fleeting locations in St. Louis lost business and incurred additional costs to prepare and secure our facilities and assets to prevent damage or loss.
“At present, certain portions of our operations are beginning to return to ‘normal,’ however, I suspect we will be feeling the effects of the flooding for some time to come.”