"During 2012 we took significant steps to upgrade the competitiveness of our global operations. In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico we upgraded the fleet, through the reallocation of capital, from smaller vessels into larger higher margin vessels. In the North Sea, we took a similar step with the divestiture of an older non-core vessel and the purchase of a vessel that complements our strong franchise position there. We relocated two vessels from Brazil to Southeast Asia, where we believe we will see significant improvements in profitability. In Southeast Asia, we also initiated a restructuring in the third quarter to better position ourselves to take advantage of what we see as an improving market. Also, on top of all of this, we have an 11 vessel new-build program that begins to deliver cutting edge vessels into these markets in the second quarter of 2013.
"We continue to focus on the strength of our fleet and investing in the fleet for the future. In addition to these operational improvements, in December we began to take advantage of the low price for our stock through the implementation of a stock repurchase program, and simultaneously we made the decision to begin to return a portion of the annual cash flows to stockholders with the initiation of a $1.00 per share annual dividend, and a subsequent $0.25 per share quarterly dividend. We believe that the operational improvements discussed above, in combination with the initiation of the dividend and the stock repurchase program, will create meaningful value for our stockholders over the next several years."
Consolidated Fourth Quarter Results
Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $95.0 million, a decrease of 7%, or $6.8 million, from the third quarter. Consolidated operating income was down $15.8 million as a result of a combination of lower quarterly revenue, coupled with approximately $3.0 million of higher direct operating expenses during the quarter, no gains on asset sales, (which amounted to $3.9 million in the third quarter), an impairment charge of $0.3 million, and an increase in bad debt expense of $2.3 million.