Before I get to Acergy's
Back in February, we noted Bob Robotti's call for a revision to Acergy's share repurchase regime, allowing it to retire these shares rather than simply hold them in treasury. A problem with the latter tactic, one followed by noted share hoarder ExxonMobil
Commendably, the Board introduced a resolution seeking authority to cancel treasury shares. Unfortunately, this measure didn't pass, as not enough shareholders bothered to vote.
The good news is that an extraordinary meeting will be held in August, and it will not require a quorum. The bad news is that Acergy's other proposal, seeking to renew the Board's authority to issue new shares, is broadly worded and does not limit itself to meeting obligations for share delivery under the company's outstanding convertible debt. Call it one step forward and half a step back.
As for the quarter, Acergy had a fine one, though not as strong as a simple year-over-year net income comparison would indicate. You'll notice from a breakdown of the income statement that operating income came in well below last year's level, while the current quarter benefited from both a lower tax rate and the absence of a loss from discontinued operations. Still, with adjusted EBITDA margins ticking higher sequentially, Acergy showed its staying power in this tough market.
The West African market remains slow in awarding major contracts, with a relatively modest $190 million contract from ExxonMobil offshore Nigeria being the highlight of the quarter. Acergy did win a somewhat larger contract this week from Petrobras
Acergy continues to stack cash, and I can't help wondering how long it will be before we see the offshore specialist make a move on a small, niche player, as with Cameron