StealthGas financial results deliver “considerable improvement”

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Harry Vafias
Harry Vafias

Athens-based ship owner Harry Vafias has confirmed his company, StealthGas (NASDAQ: GASS), delivered major improvements over the last year, as shown in the company’s third quarter and nine months financial and operating results for 2012.

“There were no major surprises in our results for the third quarter of 2012. We expected a considerable improvement over last year and we delivered. Our adjusted net income for the quarter increased by 180% and although in the summer there is typically a seasonal weakness we are very satisfied with the levels of activity in the chartering markets,” Mr Vafias said.

Third quarter result highlights included a net income for the three months ended September 30 2012 of $6.6m, or $0.32 per share, compared to net income of $6.2m, or $0.30 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2011. In addition, lower voyage and operating costs and higher revenues resulted in net income for the three months ended September 30, 2012 being higher than the net income for the three months ended September 30, 2011.

The $0.4m increase in net income was achieved despite a $0.4m loss on derivatives and foreign exchange for the three months ended September 30, 2012, compared to a $2.9m gain on derivatives and foreign exchange in the same quarter last year.

StealthGas is making efforts to expand its fleet, with the addition of four LPG carriers being built in South Korea, which are scheduled to be delivered between January 2014 and June 2014. The company has already arranged for bank financing related to the acquisition of these vessels at the time of their delivery. In addition to the deposits already paid and the bank financing, the company estimates that $10m-$15m will need to be invested on delivery in 2014 to conclude the acquisitions. As of September 30, 2012, the company had $41.2m in cash and cash equivalents.

Adding that he expects business activity to pick up in the winter months, Mr Vafias said: “Regardless, we are confident that the fundamentals in our core segment point to further market improvements in the future, that is why we concluded the acquisition of the four eco-type newbuilding LPG carriers. It has been our strategy over the past year to expand and renew our fleet, and the addition of these vessels to our fleet will improve our operational efficiencies, our profitability and our market leadership. We continue to evaluate opportunities for further fleet growth.”

Further highlights of interest for the third quarter 2012 results are as follows:

• Voyage revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2012, amounted to $30.4m, an increase of $2.9m, or 10.5%, compared to voyage revenues of $27.5m for the three months ended September 30, 2011, as a result of improving freight markets.

•Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2012 were $3.5m and $7.7m, respectively, compared to $4.2m and $8.4m for the three months ended September 30, 2011. The $0.7m, or 16.7%, decrease in voyage expenses was primarily due to the lower number of vessels under spot charters in the 2012 period. The $0.7m, or 8.3%, decrease in vessels’ operating expenses was primarily due to the higher number of vessels operating under bareboat charters in the 2012 period.

•Included in the third quarter 2012 results are net losses from interest rate derivative instruments of $0.4m. This amount includes $1.2m, or $0.06 per share, of interest paid on recurring interest rate swap arrangements. Adjusted net income was $5.8m or $0.28 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2012 compared to $2.1m or $0.10 per share for the same period last year.

•EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2012 amounted to $16.4m. An average of 37.0 vessels were owned by the Company in the three months ended September 30, 2012, compared to 36.3 vessels for the same period of 2011. As of today, charter coverage for the fleet is 68% through the end of 2013 and 38% through the end of 2014.

For the nine months ended September 2012, results highlights included:

•Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 was $21.2m, or $1.03 per share, compared to a net income of $4.1m, or $0.20 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2011.

•Voyage revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, amounted to $88.6m, a decrease of $0.8m, or 0.9%, compared to voyage revenues of $89.4m for the nine months ended September 30, 2011. The decrease in revenues was firstly due to the lower number of vessels in the fleet and secondly due to more of the vessels operating under bareboat charters in the 2012 period.

•Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 were $8.8m and $22.9m, respectively, compared to $13.1m and $28.8m for the nine months ended September 30, 2011. The $4.3m, or 32.8%, decrease in voyage expenses was due primarily to the lower number of vessels under spot charters in the 2012 period. The $5.9m, or 20.5%, decrease in vessels’ operating expenses was due primarily to the higher number of vessels operating under bareboat charters in the 2012 period.

•Included in the first nine months 2012 results are net losses from interest rate derivative instruments of $1.2m. This amount includes $3.6m, or $0.18 per share, of interest paid on recurring interest rate swap arrangements. The company also realized a $1.4m gain on sale of vessels. Adjusted net income was $17.5m or $0.85 per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 compared to $8.2m or $0.39 per share for the same period last year.

•EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2012 amounted to $49.7m. An average of 36.8 vessels were owned by the Company in the nine months ended September 30, 2012, compared to 37.8 vessels for the same period of 2011.

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