PGS Surges on Oilfield Surveyor’s Demand: Oslo Mover

Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, the world’s third-largest surveyor of oil and gas fields, surged the most in four months in Oslo trading after it saw tightening in the North Sea marine contract market, buoying sales.

Petroleum Geo-Services, or PGS, rose 9.2 percent to close at 87.65 kroner, its highest since July 29, as fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization beat analysts’ estimates. That was the biggest gain in the OBX index, extending this year’s advance to 34 percent.

“We expect the North Sea marine contract market to be tighter this year with higher prices being achieved,” Chief Executive Officer Jon Erik Reinhardsen said in a statement. “Market activity has increased significantly over the last couple of months with bid activity close to early 2007 levels.”

Marine contracts are “what is important here and the outlook for pricing,” Thomas Oerner, an analyst with RS Platou Markets AS, said by phone. “The fact that multiclient sales are so high could also give analysts room to increase their estimates.”

PGS’s seismic studies estimate energy reserves in areas including the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. It sells some of the data through non-exclusive, or multiclient, user licenses.

“PGS was pretty clear in their outlook and how they see the market,” Oerner said. “The market has been waiting for this sector to rebound for three years and we’re closer now than we’ve ever been.”

EBITDA for the fourth quarter were $145 million, beating the $127 million estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. It fell 11 percent from a year earlier. Net income for the quarter of $5.5 million was hurt by a $9.6 million-impairment on shares that the company is seeking to sell.

(Company corrects last paragraph of story that moved Feb. 20 to delete Azimuth shares.)
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