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STEALTHGAS INC. Reports First Quarter 2015 Financial and Operating Results

ATHENS, Greece, May 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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 first quarter ended March 31, 2015.

First quarter 2015 Results:

  • Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2015 amounted to $35.7 million, an increase of $1.8 million, or 5.3%, compared to revenues of $33.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to the higher number of vessels in the 2015 period.
  • Voyage expenses and vessels' operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2015 were $4.3 million and $11.7 million, respectively, compared to $3.1 million and $10.7 million, respectively, for the three months ended March 31, 2014. The $1.2 million increase in voyage expenses was primarily due to the higher number of vessels under spot charters in the 2015 period. The $1.0 million increase in vessels' operating expenses was primarily the result of the increase in the number of vessels operated under time charters in the 2015 period, including five vessels that were added to the fleet and one vessel that came off bareboat charter.
  • Drydocking Costs for the three months ended March 31, 2015 were nil as no vessels were drydocked during the period, compared to one vessel that was drydocked during the same period of last year at a cost of $0.4 million. Overall, in 2015, the Company has scheduled for two vessels to be drydocked.
  • Depreciation for the three months ended March 31, 2015, was $8.4 million, a $0.3 million increase from $8.1 million for the same period of last year. This increase was due to the additional depreciation for five vessels joining the fleet from the second quarter of 2014 until the first quarter of 2015 which was partly offset by the decrease in depreciation caused by our Company's decision to sell and lease back in Q4 2014 two of our LPG vessels, the Gas Cathar and the Gas Premiership.
  • Included in the first quarter 2015 results are net losses from interest rate derivative instruments and foreign currency hedging arrangements of $0.06 million. Interest paid on interest rate swap arrangements amounted to $0.41 million, and net gains from change in fair value of the same interest rate derivative instruments and foreign currency hedging arrangements amounted to $0.35 million.
  • As a result of the above, the Company had net income for the three months ended March 31, 2015 of $5.8 million, compared to net income of $7.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014. The weighted average number of shares for the three months ended March 31, 2015 increased to 42.0 million compared to 33.8 million for the same period of last year, due to the offerings of a total of 8.0 million shares in May and August of 2014 and the repurchase of 1.8 million shares. Earnings per share for the three months ended March 31, 2015 amounted to $0.14 compared to earnings per share of $0.23 for the same period of last year.
  • Adjusted net income was $5.8 million or $0.14 per share for the three months ended March 31, 2015 compared to $7.2 million or $0.21 per share for the same period of last year.
  • EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2015 amounted to $16.7 million. Reconciliations of Adjusted Net Income and EBITDA to Net Income and Adjusted EBITDA to Adjusted Net Income are set forth below.
  • An average of 45.9 vessels were owned by the Company during the three months ended March 31, 2015, compared to 42.0 vessels for the same period of 2014.
  • As of March 31, 2015, cash and cash equivalents amounted to $127.5 million and total debt amounted to $323.0 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2015 debt repayments amounted to $23.4 million.

Share Repurchase Program

Since November 2014 to date, the Company has repurchased a total of 1,876,536 shares at an average price of $ 6.2 per share for a total consideration of $ 11.7 million.

Fleet Update

The Company took a strategic decision to divest in April 2015, two of its oldest vessels, 4,109 cbm, built 1991, LPG carrier, Gas Kaizen, and 3,211 cbm, built 1990, LPG carrier Gas Crystal for demolition. Total proceeds were $2.1 million for Gas Kaizen and Gas Crystal en bloc.

On April 14, 2015, the Company took delivery of a 5,000 cbm, 2015 built, eco LPG carrier - Eco Enigma, while on April 30, 2015, the Company took delivery of a 3,500 cbm, 2015 built eco LPG carrier- Eco Royalty, both from Japanese shipyards.

The Company also announced the conclusion of the following chartering arrangements:

  • A four month time charter for its 5,000 cbm, 1997 built, LPG carrier, Gas Monarch, to a national oil company until July 2015.
  • A six month time charter for its 5,000 cbm, 2015 built, LPG carrier, Eco Enigma, to a national oil company from July 2015 until December 2015.
  • A six month time charter for its 3,500 cbm, 2015 built, LPG carrier, Eco Lucidity from May 2015 to November 2015 to an international trading house.
  • A two year time charter extension for its 5,000 cbm, 2011 built, LPG carrier, Gas Cerberus, to an international trading house until July 2017.
  • A four months' time charter extension for its 3,500 cbm, 2006 built, LPG carrier, Gas Alice from May 2015 to August 2015 to an international trading house.

With these charters the Company has increased the contracted revenues to approximately $238 million. Total voyage days of our fleet are 66% covered for the remainder of 2015 and 37% covered for 2016.

Additionally, the previously reported period charter for our single Aframax tanker SPIKE, will bring a total of $22 million EBITDA over its five year duration excluding the profit split element.

CEO Harry Vafias commented

We are pleased with our performance during the first quarter of 2015 as our Company marked record revenues, surpassing $35.5 million, in spite of the difficult market environment of the small LPG segment. Indeed declining freight rates in conjunction with low oil prices, have had a negative impact on freight rates for small LPG carriers and therefore this quarter and compared to the first quarter of 2014, our fleet operational utilization fell to 95.6% and our spot market days increased. Our Company continues its steady performance focusing on low leverage and reducing our ships' break even through this challenging environment. We are proceeding with our fleet renewal program consisting of top quality eco gas carriers and since the beginning of 2015 to date we have added to our fleet three modern Eco LPG Newbuildings while scrapping our two oldest vessels thus lowering our average fleet age to 10.3 years. Within 2015 we expect the delivery of another seven Eco LPG carriers mainly from Japanese yards.

In addition, our chartering strategy has been proven once again successful as we managed within the first quarter of 2015 to expand the fleet employment for the year to 66% and increase our secured revenues to $238 million up to 2022 ($220 in Q4 2014). Most importantly we have proven to the market that our conservative philosophy works in both good and bad times.

Our current outlook for the remaining of 2015 is for LPG charter rates to likely mark a further small decrease and inevitably we anticipate this to exert pressure on the weaker owners thus seeing an increase of demolition. Our strong balance sheet, with a ratio of debt to total assets of 34%, our strong liquidity and ongoing profitability puts us in a position to address any challenges that might arise in the future.

Conference Call details:

On May 26, 2015 at 11:00 am ET, the company's management will host a conference call to discuss the results and the company's operations and outlook.

Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 00 1877 280 1254 (US Toll Free Dial In) or 0800 279 5004 (UK Toll Free Dial In) Access Code: 2781516.

In case of any problems with the above numbers, please dial +1212 444 0412 (US Toll Dial In), or +44(0)20 3427 1901 (Standard International Dial In).
Access Code: 2781516.

A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until June 2nd, 2015 by dialing +1 347 366 9565 (US Local Dial In), +44 (0)20 3427 0598 (UK Local Dial In).
Access Code: 2781516.

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.

About STEALTHGAS INC.

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, StealthGas Inc. is a ship-owning company primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry. StealthGas Inc. currently controls a fleet of 44 LPG carriers, including two chartered in vessels, with a total capacity of 214,051 cubic meters (cbm), three M.R. product tankers and one Aframax oil tanker with a total capacity of 255,804 deadweight tons (dwt). The Company has further agreed to acquire 13 LPG carriers with expected deliveries ranging from June 2015 to December 2017. Giving effect to the delivery of these acquisitions, StealthGas Inc.'s LPG fleet, including the chartered in vessels will be composed of 61 vessels with a total capacity of 352,451 cubic meters (cbm). 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, shipyard performance, 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.

Fleet List and Fleet Deployment

For information on our fleet and further information:

Visit our website at www.stealthgas.com

Fleet Data:

The following key indicators highlight the Company's operating performance during the first quarters ended March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015.

FLEET DATA Q1 2014 Q1 2015
Average number of vessels (1) 42.0 45.9
Period end number of vessels in fleet 43 46
Total calendar days for fleet (2) 3,784 4,312
Total voyage days for fleet (3) 3,750 4,301
Fleet utilization (4) 99.1% 99.7%
Total charter days for fleet (5) 3,417 3,603
Total spot market days for fleet (6) 333 698
Fleet operational utilization (7) 98.3% 95.6%

1) Average number of vessels is the number of owned 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 charter days for fleet are the number of voyage days the vessels in our fleet operated on time or bareboat 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.

Reconciliation of Adjusted Net Income, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EPS:

Adjusted Net income represents Net Income before loss on derivatives excluding swap interest paid, impairment loss, share based compensation and unrealized exchange differences. EBITDA represents net income before interest, income tax expense, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA before impairment loss, share based compensation, loss on derivatives, excluding swap interest paid, and unrealized exchange difference. EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS are not recognized measurements under U.S. GAAP. Our calculation of EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS may not be comparable to that reported by other companies in the shipping or other industries. In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income, you should be aware that in the future we may incur expenses that are the same as or similar to some of the adjustments in this presentation.

EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted EPS are included herein because they are a basis, upon which we assess our financial performance. They allow us to present our performance from period to period on a comparable basis and provide additional information on fleet operational results. We also use EBITDA to assess our liquidity position and believe it represents useful information for investors regarding a company's ability to service and/or incur indebtedness.

(Expressed in United States Dollars, except number of shares) First Quarter Ended March 31st,
2014 2015
Net Income - Adjusted Net Income
Net income 7,632,078 5,831,920
Loss on derivatives 69,505 59,691
Less swap interest paid (607,006) (409,246)
Unrealized exchange gain (1,089) (23,959)
Share based compensation 72,155 305,335
Adjusted Net Income 7,165,643 5,763,741
Net income - EBITDA
Net income 7,632,078 5,831,920
Plus interest and finance costs incl. swap interest paid 2,672,867 2,623,240
Less interest income (74,697) (126,236)
Plus depreciation 8,090,675 8,370,572
EBITDA 18,320,923 16,699,496
Adjusted Net income -Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted Net Income 7,165,643 5,763,741
Plus interest and finance costs incl. swap interest paid 2,672,867 2,623,240
Less interest income (74,697) (126,236)
Plus depreciation 8,090,675 8,370,572
Adjusted EBITDA 17,854,488 16,631,317
EPS - Adjusted EPS
Net income 7,632,078 5,831,920
Adjusted net income 7,165,643 5,763,741
Weighted average number of shares 33,751,847 42,037,738
EPS - Basic and Diluted 0.23 0.14
Adjusted EPS 0.21 0.14
StealthGas Inc.
Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Income
(Expressed in United States Dollars, except number of shares)
First Quarter Ended March 31,
2014 2015
Revenues
Revenues 31,450,716 33,242,168
Revenues - related party 2,433,750 2,433,750
Total revenues 33,884,466 35,675,918
Expenses
Voyage expenses 2,700,724 3,821,073
Voyage expenses - related party 413,725 432,331
Charter hire expenses -- 1,031,908
Vessels' operating expenses 9,697,564 10,676,563
Vessels' operating expenses - related party 979,770 1,024,564
Drydocking costs 363,016 --
Management fees - related party 1,276,700 1,510,280
General and administrative expenses 665,117 923,828
Depreciation 8,090,675 8,370,572
Total expenses 24,187,291 27,791,119
Income from operations 9,697,175 7,884,799
Other (expenses)/income
Interest and finance costs (2,065,861) (2,213,994)
Loss on derivatives (69,505) (59,691)
Interest income 74,697 126,236
Foreign exchange (loss)/gain (4,428) 94,570
Other expenses, net (2,065,097) (2,052,879)
Net income 7,632,078 5,831,920
Earnings per share
- Basic and diluted 0.23 0.14
Weighted average number of shares
- Basic and diluted 33,751,847 42,037,738
StealthGas Inc.
Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Expressed in United States Dollars)
December 31, March 31,
2014 2015
Assets
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents 129,114,803 127,520,443
Receivables from related party 104,476 --
Trade and other receivables 3,211,563 3,697,229
Claims receivable 70,273 164,312
Inventories 2,958,666 2,771,121
Advances and prepayments 1,386,003 1,362,098
Restricted cash 2,896,677 4,898,975
Vessel held for sale -- 1,978,551
Total current assets 139,742,461 142,392,729
Non current assets
Advances for vessels under construction and acquisitions 88,965,085 81,984,536
Vessels, net 711,352,845 715,814,028
Other receivables 228,494 628,494
Restricted cash 2,500,000 2,500,000
Deferred finance charges, net of accumulated amortization of $2,868,432 and $3,013,508 3,090,918 2,945,842
Total non current assets 806,137,342 803,872,900
Total assets 945,879,803 946,265,629
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
Current liabilities
Payable to related party 4,941,896 4,322,916
Trade accounts payable 8,843,593 8,798,907
Accrued and other liabilities 3,903,027 5,315,452
Deferred income 6,892,328 7,183,901
Fair value of derivatives 583,368 1,722,519
Current portion of long-term debt 42,614,213 46,306,317
Total current liabilities 67,778,425 73,650,012
Non current liabilities
Fair value of derivatives 1,873,295 599,338
Customer deposits -- 1,820,700
Deferred gain on sale and leaseback of vessels 775,741 727,650
Deferred income 172,428 --
Long-term debt 282,889,640 276,726,963
Total non current liabilities 285,711,104 279,874,651
Total liabilities 353,489,529 353,524,663
Stockholders' equity
Capital stock 442,850 442,850
Treasury stock (7,541,264) (13,113,078)
Additional paid-in capital 499,862,062 500,167,397
Retained earnings 99,919,646 105,751,566
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (293,020) (507,769)
Total stockholders' equity 592,390,274 592,740,966
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity 945,879,803 946,265,629
StealthGas Inc.
Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(Expressed in United States Dollars)
First Quarter Ended March 31st,
2014 2015
Cash flows from operating activities
Net income for the period 7,632,078 5,831,920
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation 8,090,675 8,370,572
Amortization of deferred finance charges 168,780 145,076
Amortization of deferred gain on sale and leaseback of vessels -- (48,091)
Unrealized exchange differences (1,089) (23,959)
Share based compensation 72,155 305,335
Change in fair value of derivatives (537,501) (349,555)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
(Increase)/decrease in
Trade and other receivables 939,057 (885,666)
Claims receivable -- (583,643)
Inventories 102,842 187,545
Advances and prepayments 73,218 23,905
Increase/(decrease) in
Balances with related parties 336,573 (514,504)
Trade accounts payable 1,154,450 473,247
Accrued and other liabilities 495,496 353,582
Deferred income (656,366) 119,145
Net cash provided by operating activities 17,870,368 13,404,909
Cash flows from investing activities
Insurance proceeds 40,410 489,604
Vessels acquisitions and advances for vessels under construction (27,055,490) (7,829,757)
Proceeds from sale of vessels, net -- 1,058,843
Increase in restricted cash account (1,385,461) (2,002,298)
Net cash used in investing activities (28,400,541) (8,283,608)
Cash flows from financing activities
Stock repurchase -- (6,089,747)
Net proceeds from common stock issuance 31,885,501 --
Customer deposits received -- 1,820,700
Loan repayments (10,614,248) (23,395,573)
Proceeds from long-term debt 17,150,000 20,925,000
Net cash provided by/(used in) financing activities 38,421,253 (6,739,620)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash 1,089 23,959
Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 27,892,169 (1,594,360)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year 86,218,517 129,114,803
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period 114,110,686 127,520,443

CONTACT: Company Contact: Harry Vafias Chief Executive Officer STEALTHGAS INC. 011-30-210-6250-001 E-mail: info@stealthgas.com

Source:STEALTHGAS INC.