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Something’s Fishy (In a Good Way) with Omega Protein Corp. (OME)

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Omega Protein Corporation (OME) is the largest manufacturer in the United States of heart-healthy fish oils containing omega-3 fatty acids. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the company is part of the Processed and Packaged Goods industry in the Consumers Goods sector. Omega Protein makes their products from menhaden, which is an omega-3-rich, wild herring-like fish that is not used as dietary seafood. This fish is in great abundance along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast.

Omega Protein is one of the largest fishing companies in America when it comes to tonnage. They are also one of the largest fishmeal companies in the world. They account for over 70 percent of the menhaden caught in the United States and over 15 percent of the nation’s total seafood landings. During fishing season, which is April to December, Omega Protein employs over 1,100 people and during the off-season, they employ 500 people.

The company has 40 fishing vessels and 35 spotter planes to help them harvest their fish crop. Omega has processing plants in Abbeville and Cameron, Louisiana; Moss Point, Mississippi; and Reedville, Virginia. They have a refinery in Reedville, Virginia as well. Moss Point, Mississippi is also home to their shipyard. The company also has warehouse and storage facilities in Guntersville, Alabama; East Dubuque, Illinois; Avondale, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri, and Norfolk, Virginia. Because of their strategically placed system of warehouses and their considerable barge and railcar loading facilities, the company can efficiently supply fish meal, fish oil and fish solubles to customers in the U.S and internationally.

Omega Protein began in 1878 when John A. Haynie and his brother Thomas set up a simple fish processing operation on the Haynie family property in Reedville, Virginia. Today, this is the location of Omega Protein’s largest plant. In 1903, the company became Haynie, Snow & company. The name changed to Reedville Oil & Guano Company in 1913. In 1968, the name became Haynie Products, Inc., and eventually Omega Protein Corporation.

On August 7, Omega Protein Corporation reported net income of $6.7 million ($0.37 per share) for the second quarter of 2008, compared with net income of $2.5 million ($0.15 per share) for the second quarter of 2007. Revenues for the second quarter ended June 30, 2008 were $47.1 million compared with revenues of $37.1 million for the same quarter in 2007. The company recorded operating income of $11.6 million for the 2008-second quarter, compared to operating income of $5.1 million for the second quarter of 2007.

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