ATHENS, GREECE, February 22, 2018. STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS), a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today its unaudited financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2017.
OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
- Operational utilization of 97.2% in Q4 ‘17 (94.2% in Q4 ‘16).
- Commercial off hire days reduced by about 58% on a year on year basis.
- 65% of fleet days secured on period charters for the remainder of 2018, with a total of approximately $196 million in contracted revenues.
- Successful delivery of two more 22K semi ref newbuild vessels, the Eco Ice and the Eco Arctic in January 2018 increasing our asset base to around $ 1.1 billion.
- Reduction of fleet average age, following our new deliveries and the sale of older vessels from 9.6 years at the beginning of 2017 to 9.2 years to date.
- Revenues of $38.4 million in Q4 ‘17, an increase of 2.4% compared to Q4 ‘16
- Net income of approximately $750 thousand in Q4 ‘17 compared to $4.4 million loss in Q4 ‘16.
- EBITDA of $14.9 million in Q4 ‘17 compared to $ 9.3 million in Q4 ‘16.
- Low gearing as debt to assets stands at about 39%.
- Cash on hand of about $51.8 million, with operating cash flow of $52.4 million.
Twelve Months 2017 Results:
- Revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, amounted to $154.3 million, an increase of $10.2 million, or 7.1%, compared to revenues of $144.1 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016, primarily due to improved market conditions and improved operational utilization.
- Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 were $15.7 million and $59.4 million respectively, compared to $15.4 million and $58.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016. The $0.3 million increase in voyage expenses was mainly due to the higher bunker prices prevailing in 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. The $0.6 million increase in vessels’ operating expenses was mainly due to increased maintenance costs for some vessels in the fleet.
- Drydocking Costs for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 were $3.5 million and $3.6 million, respectively, representing the costs of 7 and 10 vessels drydocked in the corresponding perio In 2017 the Company faced increased drydocking costs due to the trading areas of some of the vessels due for drydock.
- Depreciation for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, was $38.9 million, a $0.2 million decrease from $39.1 million for the same period of last year.
- Included in the 2017 results, were net losses from interest rate derivative instruments of $0.4 million compared to net losses of $0.8 million in the same period of last year. Interest paid on interest rate swap arrangements amounted to $0.4 million compared to $ 1.1 million in the same period of last year. In 2017, the gains in change in fair value of the interest rate derivative instruments was nil compared to gains of $0.3 million in the same period of last year.
- The Company recorded an impairment loss of $6.5 million in 2017 for seven of its oldest vessels, four of which were sold in 2017.
- As a result of the above, the Company reported a net loss of $1.2 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, compared to a net loss of $7.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016. The weighted average number of shares outstanding for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 was 39.8 million. Loss per share for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 amounted to $0.03, compared to loss per share of $0.20 for the same period of last year.
- Adjusted net income was $5.4 million, or $0.14 per share, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 compared to adjusted net loss of $2.2 million, or $0.05 per share, for the same period of last year.
- EBITDA for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 amounted to $54.5 million. Reconciliations of Adjusted Net (Loss)/Income, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to Net Loss are set forth below. An average of 52.6 vessels were owned by the Company during the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, compared to 53.4 vessels for the same period of 2016.
- As of December 31, 2017, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $51.8 million and total debt amounted to $384.9 million. During the twelve months ended December 31, 2017 debt repayments amounted to $56.3 million.
Fleet Update Since Previous Announcement
The Company announced the following chartering arrangements:
- A two year time charter for its 2018 built LPG carrier, the Eco Arctic, with a major trading house until February 2020.
- A two year time charter for its 2018 built LPG carrier, the Eco Ice, with a major trading house until February 2020.
- A three months’ time charter for its 2017 built LPG carrier, the Eco Frost, to an oil major until May 2018.
- A two months’ time charter for its 2008 built LPG carrier, the Gas Imperiale, to an international trading house until April 2018.
- A three months’ consecutive voyage charter for its 1995 built LPG carrier, the Gas Marathon, to an international petrochemical company until June 2018.
- A six months’ consecutive voyage charter extension for its 2001 built chartered-in LPG carrier, the Gas Cathar, to an international petrochemical company until December 2018.
- A three months’ consecutive voyage charter extension for its 2001 built chartered-in LPG carrier, the Gas Premiership, to an international petrochemical company until October 2018.
- A six months’ consecutive voyage charter extension for its 2015 built LPG carrier, the Eco Galaxy, to an international petrochemical company until December 2018.
With these charters, the Company has contracted revenues of approximately $196 million. Total anticipated voyage days of our fleet are 65% covered for the remainder of 2018.
Board Chairman Michael Jolliffe Commented
The fourth quarter of 2017 was mixed. On the one hand we are pleased that our core market of small LPGs shows clear signs of improvement, which should continue to leverage our earnings. In this market we achieved an outstanding fleet operational utilization of 97.2%. On the other hand the sale of four of our older vessels and the weakening of the tanker market affected our revenue growth, somewhat obscuring the improved revenues for our core fleet. Nevertheless, excluding impairment charges, our annual results demonstrated clear improvements both in revenues and profitability. In addition with the delivery of our two 22K semi ref newbuildings in January 2018, our asset base increased to $ 1.1 billion.
We have numerous charters which commenced at the beginning of 2018, and several vessels yet to fix, all of these in a better market environment, reflecting the benefits of our chartering policy.
In terms of strategy, we intend, in the upcoming year, to take advantage of the positive market momentum of the small LPG market. We will focus our efforts on capitalizing our dynamic fleet of the past couple of years by placing strong emphasis on taking advantage of the unique and improving supply and demand fundamentals of our core segment. With assets currently $1.1 billion, low gearing and capex of around $ 31.2 million of which equity is only $1 million – we are looking forward to an exciting 2018.
About STEALTHGAS INC.
StealthGas Inc. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry. StealthGas Inc. currently has a fleet of 54 vessels. The fleet comprises of 50 LPG carriers, including two chartered in LPG vessels, with a total capacity of 302,492 cubic meters (cbm) and three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax oil tanker with a total capacity of 255,804 deadweight tons (dwt). The Company has agreed to acquire a further 1 LPG carrier with expected delivery in April 2018. Giving effect to the delivery of these acquisitions, StealthGas Inc.’s fleet will be composed of 51 operating LPG carriers with a total capacity of 324,492 cubic meters (cbm). StealthGas Inc.’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and trade under the symbol “GASS”.
Matters discussed in this release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and may include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management’s examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although STEALTHGAS INC. believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, STEALTHGAS INC. cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charter hire rates and vessel values, charter counterparty performance, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydockings, shipyard performance, changes in STEALTHGAS INC’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, ability to obtain financing and comply with covenants in our financing arrangements, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists.
Risks and uncertainties are further described in reports filed by STEALTHGAS INC. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fleet List and Fleet Deployment
For information on our fleet and further information:
Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com
The following key indicators highlight the Company’s operating performance during the fourth quarters and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2017.
|FLEET DATA||Q4 2016||Q4 2017||12M 2016||12M 2017|
|Average number of vessels (1)||53.7||50.9||53.4||52.6|
|Period end number of owned vessels in fleet||53||50||53||50|
|Total calendar days for fleet (2)||5,123||4,870||20,275||19,917|
|Total voyage days for fleet (3)||5,078||4,822||19,999||19,717|
|Fleet utilization (4)||99.1%||99.0%||98.6%||99.0%|
|Total charter days for fleet (5)||4,307||4,231||15,831||16,772|
|Total spot market days for fleet (6)||771||591||4,168||2,945|
|Fleet operational utilization (7)||94.2%||97.2%||91.1%||96.2%|
1) Average number of vessels is the number of owned vessels that constituted our fleet for the relevant period, as measured by the sum of the number of days each vessel was a part of our fleet during the period divided by the number of calendar days in that period.
2) Total calendar days for fleet are the total days the vessels we operated were in our possession for the relevant period including off-hire days associated with major repairs, drydockings or special or intermediate surveys.
3) Total voyage days for fleet reflect the total days the vessels we operated were in our possession for the relevant period net of off-hire days associated with major repairs, drydockings or special or intermediate surveys.
4) Fleet utilization is the percentage of time that our vessels were available for revenue generating voyage days, and is determined by dividing voyage days by fleet calendar days for the relevant period.
5) Total charter days for fleet are the number of voyage days the vessels operated on time or bareboat charters for the relevant period.
6) Total spot market charter days for fleet are the number of voyage days the vessels operated on spot market charters for the relevant period.
7) Fleet operational utilization is the percentage of time that our vessels generated revenue, and is determined by dividing voyage days (excluding commercially idle days) by fleet calendar days for the relevant period.