HAMILTON, BERMUDA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/11/13 -- Nordic American Tankers Limited (NYSE: NAT)
Link to the complete 4th Quarter 2012 report: http://hugin.info/201/R/1677024/546797.pdf
In 2012, NAT improved its relative position within the industry despite a weak market. By retaining a strong balance sheet throughout 2012, NAT is able to consider expanding its fleet at a time when tankers are at historically attractive price levels. As announced last month, NAT is paying a dividend of $0.16 a share for the fourth quarter 2012. Operating cash flow for the fleet was $17.5 million for 2012. During 4Q2012 the operating cash flow was -$1.1 million. The transportation sector, which is important for the tanker industry, shows a very strong development in the Far East. As an example, new passenger car sales in China increased from 3.9 million units in 2005 to 15.4 million in 2012. This is positive for the tanker industry.
NAT achieved an average daily rate of $10,700 during 4Q2012. Rates achieved in the same period last year were around $12,000 per day. When the market turns, which may happen quickly, the dividend can be expected to increase. Our fleet is in excellent technical and operational condition, and NAT has the financial resources to maintain it that way. We do not compromise on the quality of our operations. This helps to ensure the loyalty of our clients, which regularly includes major oil and energy companies.
The Company will pay the dividend on or about February 13, 2013 to shareholders of record as of January 30, 2013. Starting in the fall of 1997, when NAT began its operations, the Company has paid a quarterly dividend for 62 consecutive quarters. Including the dividend to be paid in 1Q2013, the total dividend payments over this period amount to $44.10 per share.
Key points to consider:
•Earnings per share in 4Q2012 was -$0.39 excluding an impairment charge commented upon later in this report, compared with -$0.44 in 3Q2012 and -$0.37 in 4Q2011. The impairment charge of $0.22 per share has no cash impact. Under a portfolio approach for our homogenous fleet, no impairment charge would be required.
•The Company has agreed to acquire the Orion Tanker Pool 100% as from January 1, 2013 for a payment of about $300,000. We continue to build stronger commercial relationships with our clients.
•In November 2012, the Company established a new credit facility of $430m. This facility will be in place up to November 2017.
•We continue to focus on cost efficiency - both in administration and onboard our vessels.
•Spot rates achieved for 4Q2012 were somewhat weaker than 4Q2011. A recovery in the world economy and Asian economic growth can be expected to improve vessel demand and rates.
•During the quarter the Company agreed to acquire the management company Scandic American Shipping Ltd. There will be no change in the management of the Company. Following this transaction, the Chairman & CEO and his immediate family are the largest shareholders of NAT. Their interests are now fully aligned with those of all other shareholders.
•"Financial Vetting", or focus on the financial strength of shipowners, continues to be an important consideration for clients.
•We are seeing increased levels of scrapping, curtailing fleet growth.
•The Company does not engage in any type of derivatives.
•In October 2012, one of our ships was detained in US waters with allegations that maritime rules had been violated. We expect this matter to be closed soon with small consequences, including 12 days offhire (out of service).
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