StealthGas Inc. reports first quarter 2008 results

STEALTHGAS INC. REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2008 RESULTS AND ANNOUNCES QUARTERLY CASH DIVIDEND OF $0.1875 PER COMMON SHARE

ATHENS, GREECE, May 27, 2008. 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 three months ended March 31, 2008.

First Quarter 2008 Results:
For the three months ended March 31, 2008 voyage revenues amounted to $27.0 million and net income was $7.4 million, an increase of $6.3 million, or 30.4% , and an increase of $0.8 million, or 12.1%, respectively, from voyage revenues of $20.7 million and net income of $6.6 million for the first quarter of 2007.

Basic and diluted earnings per share calculated on 22,150,607 basic weighted average number of shares and 22,234,106 diluted weighted average number of shares were $0.34 for the three months ended March 31, 2008 as compared to basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.46, calculated on 14,400,000 basic and diluted weighted average number of shares for the three months ended March 31, 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2008 was 14.6 million, an increase of $2.3 million, or 18.7% from 12.3 million for the same period of 2007. A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income and to Net Cash provided by operating activities is set forth below.

For the three months ended March 31, 2008 the Company reported a net gain on the previously announced sale of three vessels of $1.7 million.

For the three months ended March 31, 2008 the Company reported a non-cash expense of $2.8 million, which includes an unrealized, non-cash loss of $2.3 million on six interest rate swap arrangements and approximately $0.5 million of share-based compensation expense related to restricted share awards granted to the Company’s directors and key staff members of its affiliated manager Stealth Maritime Corp. This compares to an approximately $0.026 million unrealized non-cash loss on interest rate swap arrangements for the three months ended March 31, 2007.

Excluding these non-cash items and the gain on the sale of three vessels, net income would have been $8.5 million, or $0.38 per share, calculated on 22,150,607, basic and diluted average number of shares for the first quarter of 2008 as compared to $6.6 million, or $0.46 per share, calculated on 14,400,000 basic and diluted average number of shares for the three months ended March 31, 2007 an increase of $1.9 million or 28.8%.

An average of 37.9 vessels were owned by the Company in the three months ended March 31, 2008, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,652 per day as compared to 28.7 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $7,549 per day for the same period of 2007.

CEO Harry Vafias commented
“We are very pleased to report yet again an improved financial performance for the first quarter of 2008 along with the continued high utilization of our fleet and effective cost management at a time when costs overall and crewing in particular are a major challenge.. Compared to the first quarter of 2007 revenues, adjusted EBITDA and Net Income have shown healthy increases over the corresponding period last year as well as solid growth compared to the last quarter in 2007.
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The first quarter of 2008 was quite a significant one for the Company not only in performance terms but also from a strategic standpoint. We reiterated our commitment to the Handy Size LPG sector by announcing we are acquiring ten further ships, including for the first time the ordering of five new buildings by the Company.

We sold three vessels including two of our older ships to keep our fleet age well below that of the industry average, which were our first sales since we went public in October 05, and we made in my view a mild strategic diversion in acquiring two new Medium Range resale Product Carriers and deploying them on seven year bare boat charters. Thereby solidifying the earnings base of the Company with these secure long term employment contracts but also diversifying the market risk of our Company by moving into a not totally unrelated sector in which, I believe, there are good prospects over the medium term. We have backed up our belief of this strategic move by announcing in April this year the acquisition of one additional M.R. type Product Carrier that will join the fleet in April next year.

Overall we are pleased with the progress made all round by the company in the first quarter of 2008 and with 92% of our fleet’s available days covered by period employment for the remainder of the year and 58% covered for 2009 we look to the future with confidence, based on the secure earnings base and financial structure of the Company and the continued improving charter market for our core sector”.

CFO Andrew Simmons commented:
” We continue to grow the business through the acquisition of modern tonnage, while at the same time maintaining a sound financial base backed up by a clear and transparent earnings stream. Despite the stresses of the financial sector over the recent months we have continued to receive solid support from both our existing bankers and .potential lenders and we feel confident that the significant expansion of the Company that has been put in place through the announced acquisitions will be financed both competitively and in a soundly structured manner going forward”.

Quarterly Dividend:

At a Board of Directors meeting held on May 27, 2008, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.1875 per common share, payable on June 13, 2008 to shareholders of record on June 6, 2008.

This is the tenth consecutive quarterly dividend since the company went public in October 2005. Since then, the Company has declared quarterly dividends aggregating $1.875 per common share.

Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:
The table below show the Company’s fleet development and deployment as of today:

LPG Carrier Fleet
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Product Tanker Fleet
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  • F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
  • S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
  • M.R.: Medium Range
  1. Earliest date charters could expire. Most charters include options to shorten or extend their term.
  2. Lyne is employed under a bareboat charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the charterer’s option, the bareboat charter can be extended for an additional year.
  3. Gas Emperor is currently employed under a time charter until June 2008. Thereafter she will be employed under a new four-year time charter to a major international gas operator until June 2012.
  4. Sir Ivor is employed under a bareboat charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the charter’s option, the bareboat charter can be extended for an additional year.
  5. Gas Icon is currently employed under a time charter with an initial term expiring in July 2008, which has been extended for two years until July 2010.
  6. Gas Kalogeros is currently employed under a time charter until May 2008, which has been extended to April 2010.
  7. Gas Sincerity is currently employed under a time charter until July 2008, which has been extended to July 2009.
  8. Gas Spirit is currently employed under a time charter until June 2008, which has been extended to June 2010.
  9. Gas Prophet has for the three year duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Ming Long.
  10. Gas Shanghai is currently employed under a time charter until September 2008, which has been extended until September 2009.
  11. Gas E$voluzione is currently employed under a time charter until August 2008, which has been extended to August 2009.
  12. Gas Legacy is currently employed under a time charter until April 2008, which has been extended for two years until April 2010.
  13. Gas Eternity has for the duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Yu Tian 9.
  14. Gas Sikousis is currently employed under a time charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the charterer’ option, the time charter can be extended for two one-year periods, the first one to be negotiated in May 2009.
  15. Gas Ice is currently employed under a bareboat charter until April 2008. Thereafter, she will be employed under a new three year bareboat charter, until April 2011.
  16. Chiltern is currently employed under a bareboat charter until May 2008. Thereafter, she will be employed under a new five year bare boat charter until May 2013.
  17. Gas Defiance is expected to be delivered by the end of July 2008 whereupon she will commence a one year time charter to a major international gas trader.
  18. Gas Nathalie is expected to be delivered by the end of September 2008 whereupon she will continue a bareboat charter for a further three years to a major international LPG operator. The charterer has an option in September 2009 and 2010 to cancel the existing charter upon the payment of a cancellation fee in the amount of $336,000, if exercised in 2009, or $180,000, if exercised in 2010.
  19. Gas Shuriken is expected to be delivered by the end of October 2008 whereupon she will commence a two year time charter to a major international gas trader.
  20. The to be named 47,000 deadweight M.R. type product carrier is expected to be delivered to the Company in April 2009, whereupon she will commence a three year time charter.

Fleet Data:
The following key indicators highlight the Company’s operating performance during the three months ended March 31, 2008 and March 31, 2007.
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1) Average number of vessels is the number of 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 are the total days the vessels 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 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 time charter days for fleet are the number of voyage days the vessels in our fleet operated on time charters for the relevant period.
6) Total spot market charter days for fleet are the number of voyage days the vessels in our fleet operated on spot market charters for the relevant period.
7) Time charter equivalent, or TCE, is a measure of the average daily revenue performance of a vessel on a per voyage basis. Our method of calculating TCE is consistent with industry standards and is determined by dividing voyage revenues (net of voyage expenses) by voyage days for the relevant time period. Voyage expenses primarily consist of port, canal and fuel costs that are unique to a particular voyage, which would otherwise be paid by the charterer under a time charter contract, as well as commissions. TCE is a standard shipping industry performance measure used primarily to compare period-to-period changes in a shipping company's performance despite changes in the mix of charter types (i.e., spot charters, time charters and bareboat charters) under which the vessels may be employed between the periods.
8) Vessel operating expenses, which include crew costs, provisions, deck and engine stores, lubricating oil, insurance, maintenance and repairs is calculated by dividing vessel operating expenses by fleet calendar days for the relevant time period.
9) Total operating expenses, or TOE, is a measurement of our total expenses associated with operating our vessels. TOE is the sum of vessel operating expenses and general and administrative expenses. Daily TOE is calculated by dividing TOE by fleet calendar days for the relevant time period.

Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation:

Adjusted EBITDA represents net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and amortization of fair value of acquired time charters. Adjusted EBITDA does not represent and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or cash flow from operations, as determined by the United States generally accepted accounting principles, and our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to that reported by other companies in the shipping or other industries.

Adjusted EBITDA is included herein because it is a basis upon which we assess our financial performance and liquidity position and because we believe that it presents useful information to investors regarding a company's ability to service and/or incur indebtedness.

Adjusted EBITDA reconciliation for the quarters ended March 31, 2008 and March 31, 2007:
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Conference Call details:
Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1866 239 0750 (US Toll Free Dial In) or 0800 559 3282 (UK Toll Free Dial In). Please quote "4194344".

In case of any problems with the above numbers, please dial +1 718 354 1157 (US Toll Dial In), or +44 (0)20 7138 0815 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "STEALTHGAS".

A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until June 27, 2008 by dialing 1866 239 0765 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800 559 3271 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)20 7806 1970 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 4307550#

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.

STEALTHGAS INC.
Condensed Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Income
(Expressed in United States Dollars)
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STEALTHGAS INC
Condensed Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Expressed in United States Dollars)


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STEALTHGAS INC
Condensed Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(Expressed in United States Dollars)
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About STEALTHGAS INC.
Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC. is a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry. STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 36 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 160,286 cubic meters (cbm) and two MR Product Tankers. In addition, the company has also entered into agreements to acquire one second-hand LPG carrier with expected delivery in September 2008; four resale newbuilding LPG carriers with expected delivery from July 2008 until June 2009; five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from September 2010 through December 2011 and one resale newbuilding MR Product Carrier with expected delivery in April 2009. Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.’S fleet will be composed of 46 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 210,499 cubic meters (cbm) and 3 MR Product Tankers with a total capacity of 141,000 deadweight tons (dwt). STEALTHGAS INC’S shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and trade under the symbol “GASS”.

Forward-Looking Statement
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 charterhire rates and vessel values, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydocking, changes in STEALTHGAS INC.’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, 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.

Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com

Company Contact:
Andrew J. Simmons
Chief Financial Officer
STEALTHGAS INC.
011-30-210-6250-001
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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The webcast is scheduled for:
Thursday, August 24, 2017,
5:00 pm CEST / 11:00 am EDT