STEALTHGAS INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS 2011 FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS

ATHENS, GREECE, November 16, 2011.  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 ended September 30, 2011.

Third Quarter 2011 Results:

 

§ Voyage revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2011, amounted to $27.5 million, an increase of $0.8 million, or 3.0%, compared to voyage revenues of $26.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2010.

§ Voyage and vessels’ operating expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2011 were $4.2 million and $8.4 million respectively, compared to $2.8 million and $10.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2010. The increase of voyage expenses was due primarily to the increased level of fleet operational utilization during the quarter under spot voyage charters. The decrease in operating expenses was due primarily to the lower number of vessels owned during the quarter and the higher number of vessels operating under bareboat charters.

§ The net income for the three months ended September 30, 2011 was $6.2 million or $0.30 per share, an increase of $5.2 million, from net income of $1.0 million or $0.05 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2010.

§ Included in the third quarter results are net gains from interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives instruments of $1.1 million as well as gains due to exchange rate movements on foreign currency deposits of $1.5 million. The company also realized a $1.5 million cash loss on interest rate swap arrangements or $0.07 per share. Excluding these items adjusted net income was $2.1 million or $0.10 per share.   

§ Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2011 amounted to $11.0 million. A reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to Net Income is set forth below.

 

An average of 36.3 vessels were owned by the Company in the three months ended September 30, 2011, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,178 per day as compared to 37.7 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $7,040 per day for the same period of 2010. 

 

Nine Months 2011 Results

 

§ Voyage revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, amounted to $89.4 million an increase of $7.0 million, or 8.5%, from voyage revenues of $82.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010.

§ Voyage expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 amounted to $13.1 million, an increase of $3.5 million, or 36.5%, from $9.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. Vessels’ operating expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 amounted to $28.8 million, an increase of $0.2 million, or 0.7%, from operating expenses of $28.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2010.

§  The net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $4.1 million or $0.20 per share, a decrease of $2.6 million, from net income of $6.7 million, or $0.31 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2010.

§ Included in the nine months ended September 30, 2011 results are losses incurred on interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives instruments of $2.8 million as well as a loss of $5.7 million on sale of vessels. The company also realized a $4.3 million cash loss on interest rate swap arrangements or $0.21 per share. Excluding these items adjusted net income was $8.2 million or $0.39 per share. 

§ Adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 amounted to $35.0 million. A reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to Net Income is set forth below.

 

An average of 37.8 vessels were owned by the Company in the nine months ended September 30, 2011, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,550 per day as compared to 38.8 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $7,017 per day for the same period in 2010. 

 

CEO Harry Vafias commented

 

This quarter we experienced a softer spot market due to seasonal factors, summer months are typically weaker in terms of LPG trade. But the trend of the last two quarters pointing to a recovery of the LPG market has filtered down to our operating results when comparing to our performance last year. As we enter the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere we expect to see the market strengthening.

During the quarter we took delivery of our third 5,000 cubic meters (cbm) newbuilding LPG carrier, the Gas Myth, and with a fleet of 33 LPG carriers we continue to have a leading position in the LPG handysize segment. We now have two more 7,500cbm vessels to add to our fleet, with scheduled deliveries in January and May 2012, in order to conclude our newbuilding program. We have secured financing for both vessels.

In terms of employment, we concluded two long term charter agreements. The first involving the newbuilding Gas Myth, that has entered into a three year time charter with a European oil company. The second involving an older vessel, the Gas Pasha, that has also entered into a three year time charter with a European gas trader. We believe that interest in long term period charters is a sign of a healthy market. As of today our vessels have secured period employment of about 55% for 2012 and 33% for 2013. We will continue to look for opportunities to enter into long term charter arrangements for our vessels.

Finally, regarding our share repurchase plan, during the third quarter we made purchases of approximately 550,000 shares. Since the adoption of the plan in 2010 we have repurchased approximately 1.8 million shares.

 

Conference Call details:

 

On November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am EST, the company’s management will host a conference call to discuss the results and the company’s operations and outlook.

 

Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1866 966 9439 (US Toll Free Dial In) or 0800 694 0257 (UK Toll Free Dial In). 


In case of any problems with the above numbers, please dial
1 631 510 7498 (US Toll Dial In), or +44 (0)1452 555 566 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "27683220".


A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until November 22, 2011 by dialing 1866 247 4222 (US
Toll Free Dial In), 0800 953 1533 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452 5500 00 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 27683220#


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.

 

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry.  STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 33 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 153,088 cbm, three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax oil tanker. The company has also entered into agreements to acquire two new building LPG carriers with expected delivery in January and May 2012. Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC ’s fleet will be composed of 35 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 168,088 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 dry dockings, changes in STEALTHGAS INC’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking 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.

 

Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com

 

Company Contact:

Konstantinos Sistovaris

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:
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