Seacor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CKH) operates a fleet of helicopters, cargo barges, and offshore support vessels used to supply and support offshore oil rigs. The damage left by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 left Seacor’s services in high demand, as oilfield services companies in the Gulf needed supplies and support crews transported to and from their rigs. Its aviation and offshore marine services segments also benefit from rising oil prices, which lead to increased investment in offshore oil and gas projects.
Competition in Seacor’s water transportation businesses is scarce, with the Jones Act requiring that all domestic seafaring vessels be owned, operated, and manned by U.S. citizens. Unfortunately for Seacor, the Jones Act also requires all domestically operated vessels to be built in the U.S., driving barge construction costs through the roof. On the plus side, Seacor’s inland river transportation segment replaced most of its aging barges before rising steel prices began to increase construction costs further, giving it a one-up over competitors.(Read more at Wikinvest )