Earnings Release: Wednesday May 12, 2010, Before Market Opens.
Conference Call and Webcast: Wednesday May 12, 2010, at 11:00 am EDT.
ATHENS, GREECE, May 5, 2010.STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ: GASS) (the âCompanyâ), a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced today that it will release its first quarterÂ for the period ended March 31, 2010 on May 12, 2010 before the opening of the market in New York.
On May 12 at 11:00 am EDT, the companyâs management will host a conference call to discuss the results and the companyâs operations and outlook.
Conference Call details:
Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1888 935 4577 (US Toll Free Dial In) or 0800 028 1299 (UK Toll Free Dial In). In case of any problems with the above numbers, please dial +1 718 354 1385 (US Toll Dial In), or +44 (0)20 7806 1953 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "8422712".
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until May 19, 2010 by dialing 1866 932 5017 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800 358 7735 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)207 111 1244 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 8422712#
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.
Sale of Gas Prodigy:
On March 26, 2010 the Company signed a Memorandum of Agreement to sell the Gas Prodigy a 3,014 cbm 1995 built LPG carrier for $6.05 million to an unaffiliated entity based in the Far East. The vessel was delivered to her new owners on April 9, 2010.The sale resulted, after associated brokerage costs, in an impairment loss of $0.08 million which will be included in the financial results of the Company for the three months ended March 31, 2010.Â
The Company also announced the following new charter arrangements:
Commencing from April 9, 2010, the Gas Crystal commenced a 30 day minimum / 50 day maximum time charter to an international energy trader. The charterer has the option to extend the charter for a minimum 60 days maximum 90 days, or minimum 70 days maximum 100days.
Commencing from May 25, 2010, the Gas Sikousis will extend her existing time charter to an oil major for a further twelve months.
Commencing from April 10, 2010, the Gas Legacy commenced a six month time charter to a European LPG owner/operator.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above three charters which are to three of our smallest vessels within the fleet is $227,100 per calendar month or approximately $7,500 per day.
Common Stock Repurchase Programme.
As of May 5, 2010 the Company had completed the repurchase of 545,838 shares of its common stock under the common stock repurchase programme announced on March 22, 2010.
CEO Harry Vafias commented:
âWe are again pleased to announce further period charters, which in the case of the Gas Sikousis is renewed to her existing charterer at an increased rate than for the previous twelve month period, plus new period charter arrangements for the Gas Crystal and Gas Legacy.
We are also pleased to announce the sale of the Gas Prodigy, the second smallest vessel in our fleet and a ship that was four years older than our fleet average, at virtually her book value which not only further bolstered our cash resources, as she was unencumbered by any mortgage, butÂ further underpins the steadiness of the valuation of our LPG fleet. Moreover we have initiated our share buy back program as announced in March. I look forward againÂ toÂ discussing next week, on our earnings call, that the Company, based upon this sale and several others we have made in the past few months, continues, at least on a price to net asset value basis, to be substantially undervalued by the market.â
Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:
The table below shows the Companyâs fleet development and deployment as of today:
LPG Carrier Fleet
Product Tanker Fleet
â¢Â F.P.: Fully-Pressurized
â¢Â S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated
â¢Â M.R.: Medium Range
(1)Â Earliest date charters could expire.Â Most charters include options to shorten or extend their term.
(2)Â Gas Eternity has for the duration of its bareboat charter been renamed the M.T. Yu Tian 9. The vessel is expected to be delivered to her new owners during May 2010.
(3)Â Gas Sikousis has extended her existing time charter that expires in May 2010 for a further twelve months.
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.Â STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 35 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 158,704 cubic meters (cbm) and three M.R. product tankers.Â In addition, the company has entered into an agreement to sell the Gas Eternity at the beginning of May 2010 plus agreements to acquire five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from February 2011 through May 2012. Once these sales and acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC âs fleet will be composed of 39 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 185,204 cubic meters (cbm) and three M.R. product tankers with a total capacity of 140,000 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, charter counterparty performance, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled dry dockings, changes in STEALTHGAS INCâs 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
Andrew J. Simmons
Chief Financial Officer