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Moderator: Mike Collier
March 08, 2007
9:00 a.m. EST
OPERATOR: Good morning, my name is Melissa and Ill be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Willbros Group fourth quarter 2006 and year-end conference call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers remarks, there will be a question and answer period. If you would like to pose a question during this time, please press star, then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. If you would like to withdraw your question, press the pound key. Thank you.
It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to your host, Mike Collier. Sir, you may begin your conference.
MIKE COLLIER, VICE PRESIDENT INVESTOR RELATIONS, WILLBROS: Good morning. Thank you for joining us and welcome to the Willbros Group, Inc. conference call. Todays Willbros management participants are Randy Harl, President and Chief Executive Officer, Van Welch, Chief Financial Officer and myself. This conference call is being broadcast live over the Internet and is also being recorded. An archive of the webcast will be available shortly after the call on our web site willbros.com and will be accessible for 12 months. A replay also will be available through the phone number provided by the company in yesterdays press release.
Information reported on this call speaks only as of today, March the 8th, 2007 and therefore, youre advised that time sensitive information may no longer be accurate as of the time of any replay. Comments today contain forward-looking statements within the meeting of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts which address activities, events or developments the company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, are forward-looking statements. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. These risk factors are described in the companys documents and reports filed with the SEC. The company assumes no obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. A more comprehensive listing of risk factors, which could cause results to vary from our forward-looking statements, is included in documents filed by the company with the SEC.
Now, Id like to turn the conference over to Randy Harl, President and Chief Executive Officer of Willbros.
RANDY HARL, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WILLBROS: Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us. As those of you who have followed Willbros know, this is the first conference call in six years without Mike Curran, who retired as CEO at the end of 2006. I am pleased that Mike has agreed to continue, not only as our Chairman of the Board, but also as a personal advisor and a consultant to the entire company. With this move, we retain the services and advice of one of the most experienced and respected pipeline construction executives in the world. I want to thank Mike for his leadership during a very difficult period in our companys history and for positioning us for success in 2007 and beyond.
Yesterday, we announced our financial results for 2006. We reported a net loss for 2006 of $105.4 million or $4.70 per share. Almost 80 percent of this loss is attributable to our Nigerian operations, which we sold last month. While our annual results were disappointing, 2006 was a year of change and transition for Willbros. We spent much of our time, effort and resources reducing the risks in our portfolio and positioning the company to take advantage of one of the most robust markets I have seen in more than 30 years in the E&C business. As a result, in the fourth quarter of 2006, the revenue from North America and Oman operations increased 52 percent, with improved contract margins, compared to the third quarter of 2006. An important milestone in 2006 was the decision to sell the Nigerian operations. The Nigerian sale and recent awards in North America, which exhibit better terms and conditions and better contract margins, resulted in significantly improving the risk profile of our backlog. Equally important was implementing more sophisticated business processes and controls and obtaining the capital and financial resources necessary to win projects that fit our risk profile. Our markets in North America, where we are well positioned, continue to grow and exhibit strength. We are achieving our objective to reduce costs and are continuing to refine our business processes and controls.
The following information was filed by Willbros Group Inc on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.
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