TGS, a provider of seismic data for the oil industry, proposed on Thursday a higher-than-expected dividend despite lower-than-expected profits in the fourth quarter and said demand from oil companies would continue picking up this year.
Seismic surveyors are a bellwether of oil companies' appetite for conducting exploration for oil and gas deposits.
TGS' earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to $68 million in the last quarter of 2018, from $51.6 million a year ago, but lagging market expectations of $77.8 million in a Reuters poll.
"While there continues to be some uncertainty related to important factors such as U.S. onshore production, oil price and E&P (exploration and production) budgets, we are confident that the positive trend from 2018 will continue this year," TGS said in a statement.
The company increased its quarterly dividend from $0.20 per share to $0.27 per share, higher than the $0.24 per share expected in a Reuters poll of analysts.
(Editing by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik)
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