TEN's liquidity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 remained relatively strong. Total cash and liquid investments amounted to $163 million. Cash flow from operations before depreciation, amortization and finance costs ("EBITDA") was $29.3 million. Despite the very difficult market, apart from the two non-active VLCCs and five other vessels (crude carriers), all other vessels generated positive EBITDA in the quarter. Total indebtedness fell by $73 million during 2012. TEN continues to pay all its debt service obligations as they become due and management believes it is capable of maintaining that record.
The Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share of common stock outstanding to be paid on June 05, 2013 to shareholders of record as of May 30, 2013. Inclusive of this distribution, TEN will have distributed in total $9.625 per share in dividends to its shareholders since the Company was listed on the NYSE in March of 2002. The listing price was $7.50/share taking into account the 2-1 share split of November 14, 2007.
FLEET STRATEGY & OUTLOOK
Throughout the year, the Company continued to look for opportunities that were in line with our traditional chartering strategy of providing flexibility, visibility and security of earnings for our fleet. At the same time, we continued divesting our older assets in order to maintain fleet modernity and operational versatility. Along with high utilization rates achieved by the active fleet, 99.1% for Q4 and 98.0% for 2012 the Company managed to reverse last year's loss from pure operating activities to a profit, achieving a year-on-year swing of $13.2 million before impairment charges. In particular, in 2012 the Company fixed nine vessels (including the LNG carrier Neo Energy) to short-to-medium term charters, three of which took advantage of strong ice-class markets, with expected minimum revenues in excess of $213.0 million. In addition, as mentioned, the two oldest vessels in our fleet, the 1993 and 1994-built VLCCs La Madrina and La Prudencia, were sold to third party interests ultimately for recycling.
Apart from the above "house-keeping" activities and despite some sustainability in the rate firmness particularly in the product tankers sector, management refrained from placing newbuilding orders for such tonnage and upset the favorable orderbook balance currently in effect. Instead, we made inroads in the more high-end LNG sector with placing one newbuilding order for a state-of-the-art tri-fuel LNG carrier with delivery in the second half of 2015 and secured an option for an additional vessel. Moreover, management, together with representatives from the yard and the charterer, spent time and resources in ensuring that its two new buildings in the shuttle tanker space be delivered on time and commence their 15-year charters without undue delays and interruptions. The first such vessel was delivered in March 2013 and the second is to be received later this month. At present, the LNG and the shuttle tanker segment are areas of emerging significance for the Company and management is in active dialogue with various charterers, brokers and other market participants to explore available acquisition and chartering opportunities.
Looking ahead, management continues to feel optimistic about the long term prospects of both crude and product tankers albeit with products having turned the corner first we will continue to position the fleet accordingly, particularly the product tankers and with crude tankers to follow, to benefit from rate spikes as they unfold. With the world fleet orderbook continuing its downward spiral, 11.1% as at end 2012 compared to 14.4% at end of 2011 and 22.3% in 2010 (as per Clarkson Research Services) coupled with some modest increases in world oil demand (0.8mbpd year-on-year increase from 2012 to 2013 according to the IEA), the export of middle-distillates from the US to Europe, the closure of European refineries and the elongation of product routes, we believe will provide the base for a sustainable tanker market recovery in the short to medium term.
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