First quarter 2015 Results:
§ Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2015 amounted to $35.7 million, an increase of $1.8 million, or 5.3%, compared to revenues of $33.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to the higher number of vessels in the 2015 period.
§ Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2015 were $4.3 million and $11.7 million, respectively, compared to $3.1 million and $10.7 million, respectively, for the three months ended March 31, 2014. The $1.2 million increase in voyage expenses was primarily due to the higher number of vessels under spot charters in the 2015 period. The $1.0 million increase in vessels’ operating expenses was primarily the result of the increase in the number of vessels operated under time charters in the 2015 period, including five vessels that were added to the fleet and one vessel that came off bareboat charter.
§ Drydocking Costs for the three months ended March 31, 2015 were nil as no vessels were drydocked during the period, compared to one vessel that was drydocked during the same period of last year at a cost of $0.4 million. Overall, in 2015, the Company has scheduled for two vessels to be drydocked.
§ Depreciation for the three months ended March 31, 2015, was $8.4 million, a $0.3 million increase from $8.1 million for the same period of last year. This increase was due to the additional depreciation for five vessels joining the fleet from the second quarter of 2014 until the first quarter of 2015 which was partly offset by the decrease in depreciation caused by our Company’s decision to sell and lease back in Q4 2014 two of our LPG vessels, the Gas Cathar and the Gas Premiership.
§ It is noted that our Company’s decision to sell and lease back in Q4 2014 two of our LPG vessels, the Gas Cathar and the Gas Premiership, is also a factor that affected depreciation charges for Q1 2015.
§ Included in the first quarter 2015 results are net losses from interest rate derivative instruments and foreign currency hedging arrangements of $0.06 million. Interest paid on interest rate swap arrangements amounted to $0.41 million, and net gains from change in fair value of the same interest rate derivative instruments and foreign currency hedging arrangements amounted to $0.35 million.
§ As a result of the above, the Company had net income for the three months ended March 31, 2015 of $5.8 million, compared to net income of $7.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014. The weighted average number of shares for the three months ended March 31, 2015 increased to 42.0 million compared to 33.8 million for the same period of last year, due to the offerings of a total of 8.0 million shares in May and August of 2014 and the repurchase of 1.8 million shares. Earnings per share for the three months ended March 31, 2015 amounted to $0.14 compared to earnings per share of $0.23 for the same period of last year.
§ Adjusted net income was $5.8 million or $0.14 per share for the three months ended March 31, 2015 compared to $7.2 million or $0.21 per share for the same period of last year.
§ EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2015 amounted to $16.7 million. Reconciliations of Adjusted Net Income and EBITDA to Net Income and Adjusted EBITDA to Adjusted Net Income are set forth below.
§ An average of 45.9 vessels were owned by the Company during the three months ended March 31, 2015, compared to 42.0 vessels for the same period of 2014.
§ As of March 31, 2015, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $127.5 million and total debt amounted to $323.0 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2015 debt repayments amounted to $23.4 million.
Share Repurchase Program
Since November 2014 to date, the Company has repurchased a total of 1, 876, 536 shares at an average price of$ 6.2 per share for a total consideration of $ 11.7 million.
The Company took a strategic decision to divest in April 2015, two of its oldest vessels, 4, 109 cbm, built 1991, LPG carrier, Gas Kaizen, and 3, 211 cbm, built 1990, LPG carrier Gas Crystal for demolition. Total proceeds were $2.1 million for Gas Kaizen and Gas Crystal en bloc.
On April 14, 2015, the Company took delivery of a 5, 000 cbm, 2015 built, eco LPG carrier – Eco Enigma, while on April 30, 2015, the Company took delivery of a 3, 500 cbm, 2015 built eco LPG carrier- Eco Royalty (now named B GAS SUPERIOR), both from Japanese shipyards.
The Company also announced the conclusion of the following chartering arrangements:
· A four month time charter for its 5, 000 cbm, 1997 built, LPG carrier, Gas Monarch, to a national oil company until July 2015.
· A six month time charter for its 5, 000 cbm, 2015 built, LPG carrier, Eco Enigma, to a national oil company from July 2015 until December 2015.
· A six month time charter for its 3, 500 cbm, 2015 built, LPG carrier, Eco Lucidity from May 2015 to November 2015 to an international trading house.
· A two year time charter extension for its 5, 000 cbm, 2011 built, LPG carrier, Gas Cerberus, to an international trading house until July 2017.
· A four months’ time charter extension for its 3, 500 cbm, 2006 built, LPG carrier, Gas Alice from May 2015 to August 2015 to an international trading house.
With these charters the Company has increased the contracted revenues to approximately $238 million. Total voyage days of our fleet are 66% covered for the remainder of 2015 and 37% covered for 2016.
Additionally, the previously reported period charter for our single Aframax tanker SPIKE, will bring a total of $22 million EBITDA over its five year duration excluding the profit split element.
CEO Harry Vafias commented
We are pleased with our performance during the first quarter of 2015 as our Company marked record revenues, surpassing $35.5 million, in spite of the difficult market environment of the small LPG segment. Indeed declining freight rates in conjunction with low oil prices, have had a negative impact on freight rates for small LPG carriers and therefore this quarter and compared to the first quarter of 2014, our fleet operational utilization fell to 95.6% and our spot market days increased. Our Company continues its steady performance focusing on low leverage and reducing our ships’ break even through this challenging environment. We are proceeding with our fleet renewal program consisting of top quality eco gas carriers and since the beginning of 2015 to date we have added to our fleet three modern Eco LPG Newbuildings while scrapping our two oldest vessels thus lowering our average fleet age to 10.3 years. Within 2015 we expect the delivery of another seven Eco LPG carriers mainly from Japanese yards.
In addition, our chartering strategy has been proven once again successful as we managed within the first quarter of 2015 to expand the fleet employment for the year to 66% and increase our secured revenues to $238 million up to 2022 ($220 in Q4 2014). Most importantly we have proven to the market that our conservative philosophy works in both good and bad times
Our current outlook for the remaining of 2015 is for LPG charter rates to likely mark a further small decrease and inevitably we anticipate this to exert pressure on the weaker owners thus seeing an increase of demolition. Our strong balance sheet, with a ratio of debt to total assets of 34%, our strong liquidity and ongoing profitability puts us in a position to address any challenges that might arise in the future.
STEALTH MARITIME CORP NEWS
Stealth maritime corp. is happy to announce that mr Lambros Babilis has been appointed CEO of the company with immediate effect. Mr Babilis has studied Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering in National Technical University of Athens, has been since 2000 a long serving employee of the group and has climbed the ranks quickly to become group COO. The shareholders have decided that he is the right person to lead the company that was founded in 1999 and now controls 21 tankers evenly split between aframaxes and product tankers. In addition stealth maritime manages technically and commercially abt 50 gas carriers for stealthgas, the listed subsidiary of the group. Mr Babilis is deputy chairman of stealthgas as well.