StealthGas Inc. Witnesses Positive Freight Market After the Pandemic

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STEALTHGAS INC., a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced its unaudited financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021, reports the company website.

Operational and Financial Highlights

  • Fleet utilization of 98.7% with 50 days of technical off hire mainly as a result of one drydocking completed within Q1 2021.
  • Operational utilization of 93.1% mainly due to 15 of our ships having a predominant presence in the spot market – equivalent to 31.2% of voyage days.
  • 61% of fleet days secured on period charters for the remainder of 2021, with total fleet employment days for all subsequent periods generating approximately $87 million (excluding vessels in joint ventures) in contracted revenues. Period coverage for the remainder of Q2 21’ is currently 80%.
  • Sale and delivery in Q2 21’, of the 35,000 cbm MGC vessel, the Gaschem Hamburg (2010 built), owned by our MGC joint venture arrangement, for a price of $34 million generating an aggregate gain, for the Joint Venture, of $7 million.
  • Voyage revenues of $37.4 million in Q1 21’, an increase of $3.0 million compared to Q1 20’ mostly due to a 58% decrease in the fleet’s bareboat activity where revenues are inherently lower than those earned from time charter and spot activity.
  • Net income of $0.8 million for Q1 21’ corresponding to an EPS of $0.02 compared to net income of $3.0 million corresponding to an EPS of $0.08 in the same period of last year.
  • EBITDA of $13.4 million in Q1 21’ compared to $16.5 million in Q1 20’ – due to lower operational utilization as a result of higher spot activity.
  • Low gearing, as debt to assets stands at 37.7%, and a quarter over quarter reduction in finance costs by $1.1 million.
  • Total cash, including restricted cash, of $52.9 million with no capital expenditure commitments in the near future.

First Quarter 2021 Results

Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2021 amounted to $37.4 million, an increase of $3.0 million, or 8.7%, compared to revenues of $34.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, mainly due to seven vessels, now operating either in the spot market or under a time charter contract which were employed on bareboat charters in the same period of last year.

Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2021 were $6.9 million and $15.1 million, respectively, compared to $2.8 million and $13.2 million, respectively, for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The $4.1 million increase in voyage expenses is attributed to the 260% increase in spot days.

Due to our increased spot activity, we witnessed this quarter a sharp increase of both port expenses and bunker costs, particularly as we had two of our product tankers operating in the spot market. The 14.4% increase in vessels’ operating expenses compared to the same period of 2020, is a result of seven fewer vessels on bareboat, which vessels are now operating either on time charter or in the spot market along with an increase of our daily crew costs crew due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

General and administrative expenses: for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were $0.9 million and $0.6 million, respectively. This $0.3 million increase compared to the same period of last year is primarily due to some one–off legal expenses and some management fees to unaffiliated third parties.

Drydocking costs for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were $0.6 million and $0.2 million, respectively. Drydocking expenses during the first quarter of 2021 relate to the drydocking of one vessel and to the drydocking preparation of four vessels compared to the drydocking in progress of one vessel in the same period of last year.
Depreciation for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 was $9.5 million and $9.3 million, respectively.

Interest and finance costs for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were $3.1 million and $4.2 million, respectively. The $1.1 million decrease from the same period of last year is mostly due to the decline of LIBOR rates.

Equity earnings in joint ventures for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 was a gain of $1.1 million and a gain of $0.6 million, respectively. The $0.5 million increase from the same period of last year is mainly due to the profitability of our MGC joint venture arrangement which operated for the full Q1 21’ compared to approximately one month during Q1 20’.

As a result of the above, for the three months ended March 31, 2021, the Company reported net income of $0.8 million, compared to net income of $3.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The weighted average number of shares outstanding for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 was 37.9 million and 39.4 million, respectively. This decrease in the number of shares is a result of our share buyback program and the tender offer that was completed in April 2020.

Earnings per share, basic and diluted, for the three months ended March 31, 2021 amounted to $0.02 compared to earnings per share of $0.08 for the same period of last year.

Adjusted net income was $0.6 million or $0.02 per share for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to adjusted net income of $3.1 million or $0.08 per share for the same period of last year.

EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2021 amounted to $13.4 million. Reconciliations of Adjusted Net Income, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income are set forth below.

An average of 41.6 vessels were owned by the Company during the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to 41.0 vessels for the same period of 2020.
Fleet Update Since Previous Announcement

Chartering arrangements

The Company announced the conclusion of the following chartering arrangements

  • A one year time charter extension for its 2009 built product tanker the Falcon Mayram, to a Tanker Operator until September 2022.
  • A one year time charter for its 2008 built product tanker the Magic Wand, to a National Oil Company until March 2022.
  • A one year time charter extension for its 2015 built LPG carrier the Eco Universe, to an Oil Major until February 2022.
  • A six months time charter extension for its 2007 built LPG carrier the Gas Flawless, to an International LPG Trader until December 2021.
  • A six months time charter extension for its 2018 built LPG carrier the Eco Freeze, to an International LPG Trader until October 2021.
  • A four months time charter for its 2012 built LPG carrier the Gas Husky, to a Major Commodity Trader until September 2021.
  • A three months time charter extension for its 2012 built LPG carrier the Gas Esco, to an International LPG Trader until September 2021.
  • A two months time charter extension for its 2016 built LPG carrier the Eco Dominator, to an International LPG Trader until June 2021.
  • A two months time charter extension for its 2021 built LPG carrier the Eco Blizzard, to an International LPG Trader until June 2021.
  • A one month time charter for its 2015 built LPG carrier the Eco Dream, to an oil Major until May 2021.
  • With these charters, the Company has total contracted revenues of approximately $87 million.

Total anticipated fleet days of our fleet is 61% covered with charter contracts for the remainder of 2021.

Spot market remained high

Board Chairman Michael Jolliffe Commented, “Our performance in the first quarter of 2021 was still governed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although demand for small LPG carriers slightly strengthened and rates seem to have gained a positive momentum these effects began to materialize towards the end of the quarter, thus were not reflected in our results for Q1 2021.”

Due to market conditions our presence in the spot market remained high and compared to the last quarter of the year what mostly undermined our spot profitability was the operation of two of our product tankers in the spot market for the whole duration of the quarter- thus incurring high voyage costs against poor freight compensation,” he added.

What we find important amidst these market conditions is that we have designed our fleet employment so as to grasp the positive market turn expected with the remission of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have 16 vessels concluding their period employment up until the end of 2021 and along with our ships currently in the spot market gives us the opportunity to re-charter 60% of our fleet at a time when hopefully the market is expected to improve,” he concluded.

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Source: StealthGas Inc

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