Dawson provides seismic data acquisition services to on-shore oil and gas explorers and other clients who need accurate precise images of the ground under our feet. The company claims over a dozen crews out roaming the lower forty eight with equipment that feeds data back to a processing center where computers spit out two or three dimensional renderings of geological formations.
Over the long-term it is clear that Dawson has built up a good franchise in the oil and gas fields. It does have a notable dependence upon its customer Chesapeake Energy (CHK: NYSE) for business - 21% of fiscal year 2013 revenue. However, that dependence is on the wane as Dawson adds new customers. Also there are some competitors such as Global Geophysical Services (GGS: NYSE) and Tesla Exploration (TXL.TO). Global Geophysical might be slightly larger in terms of market share. However, its balance sheet is levered and that makes little sense for a service provider. Tesla is even less consistent in turn a profit than Dawson and its track record in cash flow generation not as impressive. The stronger balance sheet is always the trump card in competition.