Stealthgas Inc., reports Q3 2018 financial and operating results

Accountancy, Company Profiles, LPG, Markets, Reports — By on November 23, 2018 at 4:01 PM

Harry Vafias

ATHENS, GREECE, November 23, 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 third quarter and nine months results ended September 30, 2018. 

OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Operational utilization of 96.1% in Q3 18’ (95.4% in Q3 17’) in spite of weak seasonal period combined with an unexpected slowdown of the Asian LPG market.
  • Almost 15% reduction of commercial off hire days in Q3 18’ compared to Q3 17’.
  • About 84% of fleet days secured on period charters for the remainder of 2018 and 59% for 2019, with approximately $151 million in contracted revenues for all subsequent periods.
  • Revenues of $42.7 million in Q3 18’, an increase of $4.2 million compared to Q3 17’.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $16.4 million in Q3 18’, compared to $15.3 million in Q3 17’.
  • Low gearing, as debt to assets stands at 42.9% in spite of our capital expansion while net debt to assets ratio is as low as 36.8%.
  • Cash and cash equivalents of $64.8 million an increase of $13.0 million compared to year end 2017.

Nine Months 2018 Results:

  • Revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, amounted to $125.8 million, an increase of $9.9 million, or 8.5%, compared to revenues of $115.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, primarily due to improved market conditions.
  • Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 were $15.7 million and $45.8 million, respectively, compared to $11.8 million and $44.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. The $3.9 million increase in voyage expenses was mainly due to the higher bunker prices prevailing in the nine months of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017. The $1.4 million increase in vessels’ operating expenses, in spite of the net reduction of the average number of our owned vessels by one , was mainly driven by the operation of three additional  new 22,000 cbm semi-refrigerated LPG vessels not yet delivered in the same period of last year.
  • Charter hire expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 were $4.4 million and $2.6 million, respectively. The $1.8 million increase in charter hire expenses was mainly due to the addition of one chartered in vessel in the first quarter of 2018.
  •  Drydocking Costs for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 were $3.0 million and $2.5 million, respectively, representing the costs of 6 and 5 vessels drydocked, in each respective period.
  • Depreciation for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, was $31.1 million, a $1.8 million increase from $29.3 million for the same period of last year, in spite of the net reduction of the average number of our owned vessels by one, due to the addition of three 22,000 cbm semi-refrigerated vessels.
  • Included in the nine months of 2018 results were net loss from interest rate derivative instruments of $0.02 million compared to a net loss of $0.3 million incurred in the same period of last year. Interest paid on interest rate swap arrangements amounted to $0.06 million compared to interest of $0.3 million paid in the same period of last year. The reduction of net losses from interest rate derivative instruments, including the reduction of interest paid on derivatives, are an outcome of the increase in LIBOR rates.
  • The Company recorded an impairment loss of $8.2 million in the nine months of 2018 for seven of its vessels, three of which have been classified as held for sale as of September 30, 2018. With regards to the additional four vessels for which we incurred impairment charges, one was delivered to her new owners in the second quarter of 2018 while the remaining three were delivered to their new owners in the third quarter of 2018.
  • Interest and finance costs for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 were $17.3 million compared to $12.2 million in the same period of 2017. This increase of $5.1 million is attributed to the increase in our bank debt and to an increase of LIBOR rates.
  • As a result of the above, the Company reported a net loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 of $7.0 million, compared to a net loss of $2.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. The average number of shares outstanding as of September 30, 2018 was 39.9 million compared to 39.8 million, for the same period of last year. Loss per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 amounted to $0.17 compared to loss per share of $0.05 for the same period of last year.
  • Adjusted net income was $1.9 million, or $0.05 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 compared to adjusted net income of $4.7 million, or $0.12 per share, for the same period of last year.
  • EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 amounted to $41.0 million. Reconciliations of Adjusted Net Income, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income are set forth below. An average of 51.8 vessels were owned by the Company during the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to 53.1 vessels for the same period of 2017.
  • As of September 30, 2018, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $64.8 million and total debt amounted to $454.7 million. During the nine months ended September 30, 2018 debt repayments amounted to $45.2 million.

Fleet Update Since Previous Announcement

The Company announced the conclusion of the following chartering arrangements:

  • A three month time charter for its 2015 built LPG carrier, the Eco Enigma, to an international trading house until January 2019.
  • A two month time charter for its 2011 built LPG carrier, the Gas Elixir, to an international trading house until January 2019.
  • A six month time charter for its 2001 built chartered in LPG carrier, the Gas Cathar, to an international trading house until July 2019.
  • A one year time charter for its 2017 built LPG carrier, the Eco Frost, to an international trading house until October 2019.
  • A one year time charter for its 2015 built LPG carrier, the Eco Czar, to an Oil Major until January 2020.
  • A one year time charter for its 2001 built LPG carrier, the Gas Spirit, to an Oil Major until November 2019.
  • A one year time charter for its 2014 built LPG carrier, the Eco Invictus, to an Oil Major until November 2019.
  • A one year time charter for its 2015 built LPG carrier, the Eco Galaxy, to an international LPG trader until December 2019.
  • A one year time charter for its 2014 built LPG carrier, the Eco Corsair, to an international LPG trader until December 2019.
  • A one year time charter for its 2006 built LPG carrier, the Gas Ethereal to an international trading house until December 2019.
  • A one year time charter extension for its 2011 built LPG carrier, the Gas Myth to an Oil Major until January 2020.

With these charters, the Company has currently total contracted revenues of approximately $151 million. Total anticipated voyage days of our fleet is 84% covered for the remainder of 2018 and 59% for 2019.

Board Chairman Michael Jolliffe Commented

A temporary slowdown of the Asian LPG market was the main driver of our third quarter’s performance. The third quarter of the year usually has a soft element due to seasonal factors but in addition this quarter market conditions in Asia were less favorable than usual as we witnessed some charterers not renewing time charter vessels in direct continuation thus leaving more than usual vessels to operate in the spot market. This impacted our revenues. The market in Asia has now corrected itself and time charter fixing has picked up, as is evident from the eleven new time charters we have concluded since our last earnings report.

The most important aspect of our segment, however, is that the fundamentals, that is increasing LPG production and consumption, a very low orderbook, and an ageing global fleet, continue to drive our market. We feel optimistic for the couple of years ahead as rates are in our opinion likely to increase even further.

StealthGas as the largest owner in the sector with a relatively young fleet is well positioned to seize this opportunity. We have concluded our fleet expansion program, enhanced our cash base, have agreed to sell seven mostly older vessels since the beginning of 2018 and are therefore ready to create value from our market’s significant potential upside.

Slides and audio webcast:

There will also be a live and then archived webcast of the conference call, through the STEALTHGAS INC. website (www.stealthgas.com). Participants to the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.

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 50 vessels. The fleet comprises of 46 LPG carriers, including two chartered in LPG vessels, with a total capacity of 302,662 cubic meters (cbm),three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax oil tanker with a total capacity of 255,804 deadweight tons (dwt). StealthGas Inc.’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and trade under the symbol “GASS”.

Forward-Looking Statements

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

Company Contact:

Fenia Sakellaris

STEALTHGAS INC.

011-30-210-6250-001
E-mail: info@stealthgas.com

Fleet Data:

The following key indicators highlight the Company’s operating performance during the quarters ended September 30, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

 

FLEET DATA Q3 2017 Q3 2018 9M 2017 9M 2018
Average number of vessels (1) 52.9 51.3 53.1 51.8
Period end number of owned vessels in fleet 52 49 52 49
Total calendar days for fleet (2) 5,052 4,994 15,047 14,859
Total voyage days for fleet (3) 4,984 4,944 14,895 14,700
Fleet utilization (4) 98.7% 99.0% 99.0% 98.9%
Total charter days for fleet (5) 4,223 3,993 12,541 11,934
Total spot market days for fleet (6) 761 951 2,354 2,766
Fleet operational utilization (7) 95.4% 96.1% 95.9% 95.8%

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.

Reconciliation of Adjusted Net (Loss)/Income, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EPS:

Adjusted net income represents net (loss) before loss/(gain) on derivatives excluding net swap interest paid, share based compensation, loss on sale of vessels and impairment. EBITDA represents net (loss) before interest and finance costs, interest income and depreciation. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA before share based compensation, loss/(gain) on derivatives, loss on sale of vessels and impairment loss. EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS are not recognized measurements under U.S. GAAP. Our calculation of EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS may not be comparable to that reported by other companies in the shipping or other industries.  In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted net income and Adjusted EPS, you should be aware that in the future we may incur expenses that are the same as or similar to some of the adjustments in this presentation.

EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS are included herein because they are a basis, upon which we assess our financial performance. They allow us to present our performance from period to period on a comparable basis and provide additional information on fleet operational results to investors.

(Expressed in United States Dollars,
except number of shares)
Third Quarter Ended September 30th, Nine Months Period Ended September 30th,
  2017 2018 2017 2018
Net Loss – Adjusted Net Income
Net loss (2,261,375) (787,292) (1,966,542) (6,958,345)
Loss/(gain) on derivatives 77,231 (19,684) 305,611 18,102
Less swap interest (paid)/received (84,433) 20,311 (329,393) (61,428)
Loss on sale of vessels, net 72,793 544,446 72,793 763,925
Impairment loss 3,235,383 567,587 6,461,273 8,161,964
Share based compensation 36,699 108,901
Adjusted Net Income 1,076,298 325,368 4,652,643 1,924,218
Net Loss – EBITDA
Net loss (2,261,375) (787,292) (1,966,542) (6,958,345)
Plus interest and finance costs 4,419,964 6,

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