Management: Increase in Dividend is Possible, Even As Business Expands and Debt is Lowered
Apparantly ESV management thinks things are going quite well. Excerpts from management:
Jay W. Swent – SVP and CFO: Yeah David, at this point the expectation is that those payments will be made from current cash flow, and I guess to answer your question a little more deeply, we really don’t have any intent at this point to increase our long-term debt during the year. In fact we actually have some scheduled repayments that will cause that to go down, probably about $75 million over the course of the year.
David Wilson – Howard Weil: Along that line of thinking, how do you – with debt levels, cash flows, pending shipyard payments and possibly increasing the dividend, how do you balance all those as, do you think investors would like a little more debt in return for dividends or how do you guys think about?
Jay W. Swent – SVP and CFO: Right. I think as we said on the last call, we are in the very enviable position of being in a position to return capital to shareholders and also grow the business. As I said in my remarks, we are investing $1.2 billion this year in newbuild CapEx for growth for the future. So I think as we’ve always said we are in a position to do both and all options are always on the table.
Not cash rich, like $480M, with still significant investment occurring. Divi probably does not change and if it does, will be a small increase. Rather have them building platforms. Full disclosure, with market turbelance recently and not a huge beat by ESV I got out. Looking for my re-entry. Still think this is $70 stock sometime during the year. I think with the contracts in place, this is a good defensive stock in poor times, but can be very opportunistic in good times. Just my .02