Stealthgas turns the corner

Nov 24 2017


LPG carrier and tanker owner Stealthgas said revenues for the third quarter of this year amounted to $38.5 mill, an increase of $4.1 mill, or 11.9%, compared to revenues of $34.4 mill for 3Q16.

This rise was mainly due to increased fleet utilisation and an increase in market rates. Since the beginning of the year, market rates in the small LPG carrier segment have increased on average in an excess of 10%, the company said.

Voyage expenses and vessels’ operating expenses for 3Q17 were $3.7 mill and $15.1 mill, respectively, compared to $4 mill and $14.6 mill, respectively, for 3Q16.

The $0.3 mill decrease in voyage expenses was mainly attributed to fewer vessels operating in the spot market leading to lower bunker and port costs, while the 3.4% increase in vessels’ operating expenses, compared to the same period of 2016, was mostly due to an increase in maintenance costs, an outcome of higher utilisation of many older vessels that had experienced significant idle days during the previous quarters.

Included in 3Q17 results were net losses from interest rate derivative instruments of $0.08 mill. Interest paid on interest rate derivative instruments amounted to $0.08 mill.

Stealthgas also realised a $0.07 mill loss on sale of two vessels in the period and recorded an impairment loss of $3.2 mill for four of its oldest vessels, two of which have been classed as held for sale, as of 30th September, 2017.

As a result of the above, the company reported a net loss of $2.3 mill, compared to a net loss of $2.5 mill for 3Q16. Adjusted net income was $1.1 mill, compared to adjusted net loss of $2.4 mill for the same period of last year.

EBITDA for 3Q17 amounted to $12 mill.

Stealthgas owned an average of 52.9 vessels during the third quarter of this year, compared to 54 vessels during the same period of 2016.

Meanwhile, revenues for the nine months of this year amounted to $115.9 mill, an increase of $9.2 mill, or 8.6%, compared to revenues of $106.7 mill for the same period in 2016, primarily due to improved market conditions.

Stealthgas said it had recorded an impairment loss of $6.5 mill in the first nine months of 2017 for seven of its oldest vessels, four of which had been classed as held for sale, as of the end of the period.

As a result of the above, the company reported a net loss for the nine month period of $2 mill, compared to a net loss of $3.4 mill for the nine months of 2016.

Adjusted net income was $4.7 mill, compared to adjusted net loss of $3.8 mill for the same period of last year.

EBITDA for the period amounted to $39.6 mill.

As of 30th September, 2017, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $41.3 mill and total debt amounted to $398.2 mill. During the first nine months of this year debt repayments amounted to $32.4 mill.

Board chairman, Michael Jolliffe, Commented; “In the third quarter of 2017, our market continued the positive momentum noticeable since the beginning of the year. As a result, we witnessed a further strengthening of the freight rates, a strong demand in spite of the weak seasonal period and managed to decrease our idle days by 63%, compared to the same period of last year.

“Our revenues were 12% higher than the third quarter of 2016, but our profitability, excluding non-cash items was somewhat impacted by a slight increase of our operating cost base. This increase was mostly attributed to a rise in maintenance costs, due to the higher utilisation of many older vessels that previously faced a lot of idle days.

“We proceeded with the sale of two more of our older vessels at a 78% and 220% premiums over scrap value, respectively. These sales took place in order to further boost our liquidity and ease our operating cost base. We still maintain strong earnings visibility and have a strong fleet coverage of 63% for 2018.

As our market fundamentals are improving and look promising for the future, we hope to further improve upon our performance – increase our revenues, strengthen our profitability and continue to contain our costs,” he concluded. 



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