New Orleans-based Tidewater Inc. has borrowed $600 million, all the money available under its credit facility, before the offshore service vessel company’s bankers reduce the value of its collateral.
Tidewater said it also is in danger of defaulting on some of its debt because the company may not cover its required interest ratios. Investopedia.com defines the ratio as a measure of how many times over a company could pay its current interest payment with available earnings.
Tidewater said the default could happen as early as fiscal 2017, which begins April 1. Tidewater is negotiating with lenders and noteholders to avoid that.
Like other oilfield and oilfield service companies, Tidewater has been hit hard by the drop in oil and gas prices. The exploration and production companies Tidewater serves have slashed offshore drilling activity and cut their budgets.
Tidewater lost $19.5 million, or 42 cents a share, in the third quarter of its fiscal year. Stock analysts have estimated the loss for the entire year at 51 cents, but the outlook for fiscal 2017 is far more dire, with losses estimated at $3.13 per share.
Tidewater President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Platt said the company has taken a number of steps to better position the company when oil and gas prices recover, including cutting costs, increasing efficiency and suspending its quarterly dividend and stock buyback program.