McDermott Net Income Triples on Strong Offshore Oil & Gas Unit

U.S. engineering and construction company McDermott International said its first-quarter profit rose sharply, exceeding Wall Street expectations, helped by gains in its offshore oil and gas construction unit.

Shares of McDermott climbed to an all-time high after the earnings report, which was released after U.S. markets closed Monday.

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The Houston-based company reported a profit of $158 million, or $1.38 cents a diluted share, compared with $55 million, or 49 cents a diluted share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 75 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

McDermott's revenue in the first quarter of 2007 was $1.36 billion, up from $644.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenues of $1.27 billion.

"At McDermott, we generally avoid over-emphasizing any given quarter as our results, and the industry in general, are inherently lumpy, Bruce Wilkinson, McDermott's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"However, the first quarter was truly outstanding for us and is a terrific start to 2007," he said.

As of March 31, McDermott's consolidated backlog was $7.9 billion, up from $5.9 billion a year earlier.

Income for its offshore oil and gas unit in the 2007 first quarter was $121.2 million, compared to $22.2 million in the 2006 first quarter.