ATHENS, GREECE, Â Â Â February 19, 2009.Â 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 fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2008.
Fourth Quarter 2008 Results:
For the three months ended December 31, 2008, voyage revenues amounted to $28.2 million and net income was $7.7 million, an increase of $2.1 million, or 8.0%, and an increase of $1.5 million, or 24.2%, respectively, from voyage revenues of $26.1 million and net income of $6.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2007.
Basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.35 for the three months ended December 31, 2008 as compared to basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.28 for the three months ended December 31, 2007.
Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended December 31, 2008 was $15.9 million, an increase of $3.9 million, or 32.5%, from $12.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2007.Â A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income and to net cash provided by operating activities is set forth below.
An average of 39.6 vessels were owned by the Company in the three months ended December 31, 2008, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,132 per day as compared to 37.5 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $7,214 per day, for the same period of 2007 due primarily to an increased number of spot days in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the prevailing charter rates being marginally lower than the respective fourth quarter in 2007.Â
Twelve Months 2008 Results:
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, voyage revenues amounted to $112.6 million and net income was $30.0 million, an increase of $22.6 million, or 25.1%, and an increase of $7.5 million, or 33.3%, respectively, from voyage revenues of $90.0 million and net income of $22.5 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007.
Basic and diluted earnings per share were $1.35 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 as compared to basic and diluted earnings per share of $1.26 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007.
Adjusted EBITDA for the twelve months ended December 31, 2008 was $61.5 million, an increase of $15.8 million, or 34.6%, from $45.7 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007.Â A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income and to net cash provided by operating activities is set forth below.
An average of 38.6 vessels were owned by the Company in the twelve months ended December 31, 2008, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,588 per day as compared to 32.8 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $7,129 per day for the same period of 2007 due primarily to the effect of the two M.R. product carries that joined the fleet in January and February 2008, respectively.Â
CEO Harry Vafias commented
âI am delighted to report record earnings for 2008. We had a very solid performance in the last quarter of 2008 and generally throughout the past year. In 2008, we increased our EBITDA by 34.6% to $61.5 million while net income rose by 33.3% to $30.0 million.
We continue to believe that our core LPG sector has sound fundamentals, and while there is no doubt that 2009 and beyond may well prove to be a very challenging period for the worldâs economy, we remain cautiously confident that the niche in which we fundamentally operate will continue to perform relatively steadily and without the significant fluctuations that we have seen and in my view will continue to see, in many other sectors of the shipping industry.
This year and probably well into 2010, if not beyond, will be challenging times for the worldâs economy, however, we continue to believe in our core strategy, which has remained consistent since we went public. Managementâs interest has and continues to be fully aligned with shareholder interest, over the short and long term, which includes being committed to guiding the company safely through those challenges faced today and in the future.â
At todayâs meeting, the Companyâs Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.1875 per common share, payable on March 9, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 2, 2009.
This is the thirteenth consecutive quarterly dividend since the company went public in October 2005. Since then, the Company has declared quarterly dividends aggregating $2.4375 per common share.
Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:
The table below show the Companyâs fleet development and deployment as of today:
LPG Carrier Fleet
Â Product Tanker Fleet
â¢Â Â Â F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
â¢Â Â Â S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
â¢Â Â Â M.R.: Medium Range
(1)Â Â Â Earliest date charters could expire.Â Most charters include options to shorten or extend their term.
(2)Â Â Â Lyne is employed under a bareboat charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the chartererâs option, the bareboat charter can be extended for an additional year.
(3)Â Â Â Sir Ivor is employed under a bareboat charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the chartererâs option, the bareboat charter can be extended for an additional year.
(4)Â Â Â Gas Prophet has for the three-year duration of bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Ming Long.
(5)Â Â Â Gas Eternity has for the duration of its bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Yu Tian 9.
(6)Â Â Â Gas Sikousis is currently employed under a time charter until May 2009. Thereafter, at the chartererâs option, the time charter can be extended for two one-year periods, the first one to be negotiated in May 2009.
(7)Â Â Â Gas Natalie, upon her delivery, continued to be deployed under an existing bareboat charter to a major international LPG operator that expires in September 2011.Â 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.
(8)Â Â Â The Stealth S.V., a 46,000 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.
(9)Â Â Â 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.
About STEALTHGAS INC.
Headquartered in Athens, Greece, STEALTHGAS INC. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry.Â STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 39 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 173,499 cubic meters (cbm) and two M.R. product tankers.Â In addition, the company has entered into agreements to acquire two resale new building LPG carriers, the Gas Astrid and the Gas Exelero, with expected delivery in April and June 2009, respectively, plus five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from September 2010 through December 2011 and two resale new building M.R. product carriers with expected delivery in April and November 2009.Â Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.âS fleet will be composed of 46 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 210,499 cubic meters (cbm) and four M.R. product tankers with a total capacity of 190,500 deadweight tons (dwt).Â STEALTHGAS INC.âS shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and trade under the symbol âGASSâ.
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, managementâs 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, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled dry dockings, changes in STEALTHGAS INC.âs 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
Andrew J. Simmons
Chief Financial Officer
The following key indicators highlight the Companyâs operating performance during the fourth quarters ended December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2008:
The following key indicators highlight the Companyâs operating performance during the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2008:
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 of finance charges and amortization of fair value of acquired time charters.Â Adjusted EBITDA does not represent and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or cash flow from operations, as determined by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, 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.Â
Adjusted EBITDA reconciliation for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2008:
Adjusted EBITDA reconciliation for the twelve months ended December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2008:
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). Â
In case of any problems with the above numbers, please dial +1 718 354 1359 (US Toll Dial In), or +44 (0)2071380813 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "9818405".
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until February 26, 2009 by dialing 1866 239 0765 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800 358 7743 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)207 806 1970 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 9818405#
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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