Unexpected LPG slowdown hits StealthGas

Nov 30 2018


StealthGas reported an operational utilisation of 96.1% in the third quarter of this year despite a weak seasonal period combined with an unexpected slowdown of the Asian LPG market.

About 84% of fleet days were secured on period charters for the remainder of 2018 and 59% for 2019, with around $151 mill in contracted revenues for all subsequent periods.

 

Cash and cash equivalents totalled $64.8 mill, an increase of $13 mill, compared to year end 2017.

 

Revenues for 3Q18 amounted to $42.7 mill, an increase of $4.2 mill, or 10.9%, compared to $38.5 mill for 3Q17.

 

This rise was mainly as a result of improved market rates that led to an increase of both timecharter revenues and spot revenues, compared to the same period last year.

 

StealthGas realised a $0.5 mill loss on the sale of three vessels during the quarter.

 

The Company also recorded an impairment loss of $0.6 mill for three of its vessels which were classified as held for sale. For 3Q17, StealthGas recorded an impairment loss of $3.2 mill for four of its oldest vessels, two of which were classified as held for sale.

 

As a result of the above, the company reported a net loss of $0.8 mill, compared to a net loss of $2.3 mill for 3Q17.

 

Adjusted net income was $0.3 mill, compared to adjusted net income of $1.1 mill for the same period in 2017. EBITDA for the three month period amounted to $15.3 mill.

 

Revenues for the nine months ended 30th September, 2018, amounted to $125.8 mill, an increase of $9.9 mill, or 8.5%, compared to $115.9 mill for the first nine months of 2017, primarily due to improved market conditions.

 

The company recorded an impairment loss of $8.2 mill in the nine months of 2018 for seven of its vessels, three of which were classified as held for sale as of 30th September, 2018.

 

With regards to the additional four vessels for which we incurred impairment charges, one was delivered to her new owners in 2Q18 while the remaining three were delivered to their new owners in 3Q18.

 

StealthGas suffered a net loss for the nine month period of $7 mill, compared to a net loss of $2 mill for the same period of 2017.

 

Adjusted net income was $1.9 mill, compared to adjusted net income of $4.7 mill for the same period of last year. EBITDA for the nine month period amounted to $41 mill.

 

Board chairman, Michael Jolliffe, commented; “A temporary slowdown of the Asian LPG market was the main driver of our third quarter’s performance. The third quarter of the year usually has a soft element due to seasonal factors but in addition this quarter market conditions in Asia were less favourable than usual as we witnessed some charterers not renewing timecharter vessels in direct continuation thus leaving more than usual vessels to operate in the spot market.

 

“This impacted our revenues. The market in Asia has now corrected itself and timecharter fixing has picked up, as is evident from the 11 new timecharters we have concluded since our last earnings report.

 

“The most important aspect of our segment, however, is that the fundamentals, that is increasing LPG production and consumption, a very low orderbook, and an ageing global fleet, continue to drive our market. We feel optimistic for the couple of years ahead as rates are in our opinion likely to increase even further.

 

“StealthGas as the largest owner in the sector with a relatively young fleet is well positioned to seize this opportunity. We have concluded our fleet expansion programme, enhanced our cash base, have agreed to sell seven mostly older vessels since the beginning of 2018 and are therefore ready to create value from our market’s significant potential upside,” he concluded.

 



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