Stealthgas Inc. Reports Third Quarter And Nine Months 2008 Results

Stealthgas Inc. Reports Third Quarter And Nine Months 2008 Results And Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.1875 Per Common Share

ATHENS, GREECE,  November 13, 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 third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2008.

Third Quarter 2008 Results:

For the three months ended September 30, 2008, voyage revenues amounted to $28.9 million and net income was $5.4 million, an increase of $5.7 million, or 24.6%, and an increase of $1.4 million, or 35.0%, respectively, from voyage revenues of $23.2 million and net income of $4.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2007.

Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.24 for the three months ended September 30, 2008 as compared to basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.19, for the three months ended September 30, 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2008 was $13.5 million, an increase of $3.8 million, or 39.2% from $9.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 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 September 30, 2008, the Company had a loss of $2.0 million on interest rate swap arrangements, which was comprised of a $1.0 million realized cash loss and a $1.0 million unrealized non-cash loss, plus approximately $0.6 million of stock-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 $2.8 million non-cash loss for the three months ended September 30, 2007, which was comprised of a $1.8 million unrealized non-cash loss on interest rate swaps and $1.0 million of stock-based compensation expense related to restricted share awards granted to the Company’s directors.

Before the non-cash items described above, net income was $7.0 million, or $0.32 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2008, as compared to $6.7 million, or $0.33 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2007, an increase of $0.3 million, or 4.5%.

An average of 38.7 vessels were owned by the Company in the three months ended September 30, 2008, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,681 per day as compared to 35.1 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $6,747 per day for the same period of 2007. 

Nine Months 2008 Results

For the nine months ended September 30, 2008, voyage revenues amounted to $84.4 million and net income was $22.2 million, an increase of $20.5 million, or 32.1%, and an increase of $5.9 million, or 36.2%, respectively, from voyage revenues of $63.9 million and net income of $16.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.

Basic and diluted earnings per share were $1.01 and $1.00, respectively, for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 as compared to basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.99 for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 was $45.6 million, an increase of $12.0 million, or 35.7%, from $33.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.  A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income and to net cash provided by operating activities is set forth below.
 
For the nine months ended September 30, 2008, the Company had a loss of $2.5 million on interest rate swap arrangements, which was comprised of a $1.1 million realized cash loss and a $1.4 million unrealized non-cash loss, plus approximately $1.6 million of stock-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 $1.5 million unrealized non-cash loss for the nine months ended September 30, 2007 on interest rate swaps and $1.0 million of stock-based compensation expense related to restricted share awards granted to the Company’s directors. 

Before the non-cash items described above, net income was $25.2 million, or $1.14 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 as compared to $18.8 million, or $1.14 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2007, an increase of $6.4 million or 34.0%.

CEO Harry Vafias commented

“As we advised previously the third quarter saw an increase in crewing costs as a result of a wage increase we gave at the beginning of July and these along with an increase in voyage expenses due primarily to an increase in bunker costs have led to a slight decline on a quarter by quarter performance of our business at the operating income level. However, our revenues were in line with expectations and on a year on year basis the Company continues to progress with the significant increases in EBITDA and Net Income as outlined in this earnings release.

At the net income level we have also been adversely effected by a $1.0 million increase in derivative costs as a result of the decline in US$ LIBOR against the fixed rates at which 67% of our current debt is swapped out at. The aggregate interest rate level of our swaps is 4.27% which we believe over time will prove to be a prudent level to have fixed the above mentioned portion of our debt, however, currently due to the very low level of prevailing rates, we are being negatively affected by these previously taken measures.

Overall, due to the underlying nature of the markets we serve and the commodities we carry, we continue to view the future with reasonable confidence, despite the current turmoil in the world economy. I am also pleased to confirm that the valuations of our vessels continue to hold up well and have not experienced the declines seen in other shipping sectors. These factors together with our prudent chartering policy with some 67% of vessels already fixed for 2009 to high class charterers means that we should continue to make steady progress next year, despite the ongoing slowdown and challenges presented by the global economy.”

CFO Andrew Simmons said
“We are pleased to say that despite the problems in the banking sector we have continued to receive good support from both our existing and new banks in the recent weeks and that the vast majority of our vessels to be delivered in the future have committed credit facilities that will be used to fund part of their purchase price upon delivery to us. Although the terms of some of these facilities are somewhat less favourable than the terms available to us in the recent past, including increases in margin and fees. We are pleased nevertheless with the levels of support we continue to receive from our lending institutions, at a time when there has been a significant decline in the provision of credit to the shipping sector generally.”    

Quarterly Dividend:

At today’s meeting, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.1875 per common share, payable on December 1, 2008 to shareholders of record on November 24, 2008.

This is the twelfth consecutive quarterly dividend since the company went public in October 2005. Since then, the Company has declared quarterly dividends aggregating $2.25 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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Suezmax Tanker Fleet
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• F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
• S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
• M.R.: Medium Range
• S.M.: Suez Max

(1)       Earliest date charters could expire.  Most charters include options to shorten or extend their term.
(2)         Gas Amazon has been sold to an unaffiliated entity for delivery in November 2008.
(3) 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.
(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 Prophet has for the three year duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Ming Long.
(6) Gas Eternity has for the duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Yu Tian 9.
(7) Gas Sikousis is currently employed under a time charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the charterer’s option, the time charter can be extended for two one-year periods, the first one to be negotiated in May 2009.
(8) Gas Natalie is expected to be delivered in December 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. 
(9) The Stealth S.V., a 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.
(10) The Stealth Argentina, a 50,500 deadweight M.R. type product carrier, is expected to be delivered to the Company in November 2009, whereupon she will commence a three year bareboat charter.
(11) The to be named 156,000 deadweight Suezmax oil tanker is expected to be delivered to the Company in April 2011.
(12) The to be named 156,000 deadweight Suezmax oil tanker is expected to be delivered to the Company in July 2011.

 


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 38 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 170,286 cubic meters (cbm) and two M.R. Product Tankers. In addition, the company has also entered into agreements to acquire one second hand and  two resale newbuilding LPG carriers with expected deliveries in December 2008, March 2009 and May 2009, five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from September 2010 through December 2011, two resale newbuilding M.R. Product Carrier with expected deliveries in April and November 2009 and a contract to construct two 156,000 deadweight Suezmax tankers with deliveries scheduled for April and July 2011.
The company has also entered into an agreement to sell the Gas Amazon with delivery to her new owners scheduled for November 2008.Once these acquisitions and disposal are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.’S fleet will be composed of 45 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 203,973 cubic meters (cbm), four M.R. Product Tankers with a total capacity of 191,500 deadweight tons (dwt) and two Suezmax tankers with a deadweight of 312,000 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 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.


Fleet Data:

The following key indicators highlight the Company’s operating performance during the third quarters ended September 30, 2007 and September 30, 2008.

 

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The following key indicators highlight the Company’s operating performance during the nine months ended September 30, 2007 and September 30, 2008.

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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. 

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Conference Call details:
Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1866 388 1925 (US Toll Free Dial In) or 0800 358 7034 (UK Toll Free Dial In). 

In case of any problems with the above numbers, please dial +1 703 621 9128 (US Toll Dial In), or +44 (0)208 609 1270 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "STEALTHGAS".
 
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until November 20, 2008 by dialing 1866 676 5865 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800 358 2189 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)20 8609 0289 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 237812 #

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.


 

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StealthGas Inc.
3rd Quarter 2017 Results
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The webcast is scheduled for:
Wednesday, November 22, 2017,
5:00 pm CEST / 11:00 am EDT