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Helix Energy Solutions Surges After Meeting Loss Expectations

By Tyler Crowe - Jul 20, 2016 at 4:50PM

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The bar is so low that meeting expectations deserves a round of applause.

Image source: Helix Energy Solutions corporate website.

What: Shares of Helix Energy Solutions (HLX 5.00%) are up 10.5% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT, after the company reported a second-quarter loss in line with analyst expectations.

So what: Wall Street moves in some very odd ways sometimes. After Helix posted a net-income loss of $0.10 per share, a figure that was right about where analysts expected the company to be, those same people are sending shares higher. 

From a business standpoint, Helix's revenue and EBITDA didn't meet expectations, but they were modest improvements from the prior quarter. CEO Owen Katz noted that the company saw improved numbers as one of its workover rigs went on contract in the Gulf of Mexico and the company picked up some work in the North Sea. Katz expects further work in the North Sea and expects that the commencement of a contract in Brazil with Petrobras will lead to better performance in the second half of the year. 

Now what: Well intervention and repairs will be a business segment to see some of the first effects of increased oil prices. It's much more lucrative for a producer to do some work on existing wells to boost or maintain production rather than go after new sources. So Helix should be able to capture some of that work as producers start to look at growing production, with oil in the $50-per-barrel range. 

At the same time, Helix is still losing money. It's going to take a while for Helix to climb out of the red, and today's stock jump is no indicator that it's any closer to that goal. Investors are probably wise to sit this one out. 

Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at or on Twitter, @TylerCroweFool.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. Stock Quote
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