Stealthgas Inc. Reports Third Quarter And First Nine Months 2010 Financial And Operating Results.

ATHENS, GREECE,November 16, 2010.  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 first nine months ended September 30, 2010.

Third Quarter 2010 Results:

For the three months ended September 30, 2010, voyage revenues amounted to $26.7 million, a decrease of $1.7 million, or 6.0%, compared to voyage revenues of $28.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2009. Net income for the three months ended September 30, 2010 was $1.0 million, or $0.05 per share, a decrease of $6.2 million, from net income of $7.2 million, or $0.32 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2009. Net income for the three months ended September 30, 2010 included a $0.2 million fee for the termination of a charter, compared to a charter termination fee of $0.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2009.

For the three months ended September 30, 2010, the Company had a $1.6 million realized cash loss on interest rate swap arrangements, a $1.0 million unrealized non-cash loss on interest rate swap and foreign currency hedging arrangements, and a $1.1 million non-cash gain due to exchange rate movements on foreign currency deposits. This compares to a realized cash loss of $1.8 million on interest rate swap arrangements and an unrealized non-cash gain on interest rate swap and foreign currency hedging arrangements of $4.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2009.

Voyage expenses and vessel operating expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2010 were $2.8 million and $10.2 million, respectively, compared to $2.7 million and $9.6 million, respectively, for the three months ended September 30, 2009. The increase in voyage expenses was due primarily to the increased level of spot market activity with 881 spot voyage days in the third quarter of 2010 compared to 763 spot voyage days in the same period last year. Under spot voyage charters the Company is responsible for all voyage expenses including fuel, port and canal fees.

For the three months ended September 30, 2010 there was an average of 8.6 vessels on bareboat charter as compared to the three months ended September 30, 2009, when there were an average of 14 vessels. This decrease in vessels trading under bareboat charters is also the primary reason for the increase in vessel operating expenses during this quarter. When vessels return from bareboat charter they incur up front costs in regard to their redeployment under time or spot charters. These costs are not able to be capitalized and therefore are charged to the income statement as they occur. Dry docking expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2010 were $0.6 million, an increase of $0.1 million, or 20.0%, compared to $0.5 million in the same period in 2009.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2010 was $9.7 million, a decrease of $6.9 million from Adjusted EBITDA of $16.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2009. A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income and to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities is set forth below.

Before the non-cash items discussed above, the Company’s net income was $0.9 million, or $0.04 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2010, compared to net income of $2.7 million, or $0.12 per share, before non-cash items for the three months ended September 30, 2009, a decrease of $1.8 million or 66.7%. 

The decrease in operating net income after non-cash items is mainly attributable to a decrease in the size of our fleet, higher dry docking expenses, increased voyage expenses and increased commercial downtime due both to seasonal factors and the ongoing relative softness of the spot market particularly affecting our semi refrigerated ships. However as detailed below, the fleet on a per ship per day basis, earned an average of $476 per day more on a time charter equivalent basis, than in the quarter ended September 30, 2009.

For the three months ended September 30, 2010, an average of 37.7 vessels were owned by the Company earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,040 per day, as compared to 42.9 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $6,564 per day, for the same period of 2009. 

Nine Months 2010 Results

For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, voyage revenues amounted to $82.4 million and net income was $6.7 million, a decrease of $2.3 million, or 2.7%, and a decrease of $7.1 million, or 51.4%, respectively, from voyage revenues of $84.7 million and net income of $13.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2009. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010 net income included a gain on the sale of vessels of $1.0 million compared to a loss of $0.8 million on the sale of vessels in the same period in 2009, and a $0.2 million fee for the termination of a charter, compared to a charter termination fee of $0.6 million in the same period in 2009.

Voyage and operating expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 were $9.6 million and $28.6 million, respectively, compared to $7.1 million and $28.0 million, respectively, for the nine months ended September 30, 2009. The increase in voyage expenses was due primarily to the increased level of spot market activity with 2,643 spot voyage days in the nine months ended September 30, 2010 compared to 2,007 spot voyage days in the same period last year. Under spot voyage charters the Company is responsible for all voyage expenses including fuel, port and canal fees. The increase in vessel operating expenses was due primarily to the decrease in the number of vessels on bareboat charter as explained in the third quarter discussion above. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010 there was an average of 11.1 vessels on bareboat charter compared to an average of 14.4 vessels on bareboat charter in the nine months ended September 30, 2009. Dry docking expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 were $2.3 million an increase of $1.5 million or 187.5% compared to $0.8 million in the first nine months of 2009.

The Company’s basic and diluted earnings per share were $0.31 for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 as compared to basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.62 for the nine months ended September 30, 2009.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, the Company had a $4.8 million realized cash loss on interest rate swap arrangements and a $1.3 million unrealized non-cash loss on interest rate swap and foreign currency hedging arrangements, plus a $1.1 million non-cash gain due to exchange rate movements on foreign currency deposits. This compares to a realized cash loss on interest rate swap arrangements of $3.4 million and an unrealized non-cash gain of $1.5 million on interest rate swap and foreign currency hedging arrangements for the nine months ended September 30, 2009.

Adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 was $31.8 million, a decrease of $8.0 million, or 20.1%, from $39.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2009.  A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income and to Net Cash provided by operating activities is set forth below. 

Before the non-cash items discussed above, net income was $5.9 million, or $0.27 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, as compared to $13.1 million, or $0.59 per share, before non-cash items for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, a decrease of $7.2 million or 55.0%.

An average of 38.8 vessels were owned by the Company in the nine months ended September 30, 2010, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of approximately $7,017 per day as compared to 41.8 vessels, earning an average time-charter equivalent rate of $6,840 per day for the same period of 2009.  As previously mentioned revenues decreased due to primarily the decrease in the size of the fleet year on year, and increased commercial downtime however the average rate per day achieved by our ships increased by $177 per day on a time charter equivalent basis, which is an encouraging development.

CEO Harry Vafias commented:

“As discussed previously and as we have highlighted in our prior earnings calls the third quarter of any year is the most challenging one for the Company due to seasonal factors occurring annually, but this year in particular we have faced a relatively soft spot market, plus a number of vessels have returned from bare boat charters which has meant increases in up front expenses being incurred as they are put back into the time charter and spot markets. We, also as previously highlighted have incurred a significant increase year on year in dry docking costs due coincidentally to how the schedule has fallen for a significant number of our vessels. All of the above, along with the continued cost of the interest rate derivatives taken out in years prior to the economic slowdown have contributed to the Company’s financial performance both in the third quarter and by and large on a year to date basis. 

However, despite all of the above factors I am pleased to report that the Company remains profitable in terms of income from operations. I would also like to highlight our recent announcements of twelve period charters some of which have already commenced and some that start during the course of next year. Both the average duration and the rates achieved on these fixtures will I believe help to strengthen the financial performance of the Company as we move forward. I am also pleased to report that in the current quarter of 2010 we have seen increased activity in the spot market which should assist us in reducing the amount of commercial off hire time compared to the third quarter of this year.

We continue to look to the future with cautious optimism, we have four brand new vessels joining the fleet next year, and I am pleased to say that we have seen significant interest from a wide group of banks both existing and new to finance these, and we expect to announce the finalization of those negotiations shortly. The recently announced fixtures point to an improvement in our core market and if this continues to manifest itself along with our very sound financial structure the Company should be well positioned for the future”  

Quarterly Dividend:

At today’s meeting, the Company’s Board of Directors decided to continue the suspension of dividend payments to shareholders.

Common Stock Repurchase Programme

As of November 16, 2010, the Company had completed the repurchase of 1,205,229 shares of its common stock at an average price of $ 5.21 per share, under the up to $15.0 million common stock repurchase programme announced on March 22, 2010.

Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment:

The table below shows the Company’s fleet development and deployment as of today:

LPG Carrier Fleet:

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·          F.P.: Fully-Pressurized

·          S.R.: Semi-Refrigerated

·          M.R.: Medium Range

(1)    Earliest date charters could expire.

(2)    The Gas Marathon is deployed under a time charter until June 2011. The Charterer has an option declarable in November 2010 to extend the charter for a further six months.

(3)    Gas Nemesis is deployed under a time charter until April 2011. The Charterer has an option, declarable in January 2011 to extend the charter for a further six months.

(4)    Gas Evoluzione is deployed from November 2010 under a time charter until August 2011. The Charterer has an option declarable in April 2011 to extend the charter for a further three 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.  STEALTHGAS INC. currently has a fleet of 34 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 155,204 cubic meters (cbm), three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax crude oil tanker. The company has also entered into agreements to acquire five new building LPG carriers with expected delivery from February 2011 through May 2012. Once these acquisitions are completed, STEALTHGAS INC.’s fleet will be composed of 39 LPG carriers with a total capacity of 185,204 cubic meters (cbm), three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax crude 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:

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, 2009 and September 30, 2010.

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The following key indicators highlight the Company’s operating performance during the nine months ended September 30, 2009 and September 30, 2010.

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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) Fleet operational utilization is the percentage of time that our vessels generated revenue, and is determined by dividing voyage days (excluding commercially idle days) by fleet calendar days for the relevant period.

8) 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.

9) 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.

10) 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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 On November 16 at 11:00 am EDT, the company’s management will host a conference call to discuss the results and the company’s 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 +1 212 444 0412 (US Toll Dial In), or +44 (0)20 7806 1953 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "8961364#".

A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until November 23, 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: 8961364#

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