Nordic American Tanker Shipping Ltd. (NAT) – (AMEX: NAT) (OSE: NAT) announces good results and dividend payment despite low tanker markets

As of 03/31/02 (1st quarter 2002) NAT had an operating profit of $1.8 m as against $9.8 m during the same period last year. The net profit for the first quarter 2002 was $1.4 m as against $9.4 m in the same period last year. The significant decrease in the earnings in the 1st quarter 2002 compared to the same period in year 2001 is a result of tanker rates being exceptionally high during the winter of year 2001.
The result for the 1st quarter 2002, enables the company to pay a 2nd quarter 2002 dividend of $0.34 per share. Including the dividend for the 2nd quarter of 2002, the total dividend paid so far in 2002 is $0.70 per share. The total dividend paid in 2001 was $3.87 per share. In year 2000 the company paid a total dividend of $2.56 per share as against $1.35 per share in 1999. The 2nd quarter 2002 dividend of $0.34 will be paid on or about May 15th to shareholders of record as of April 26th 2002. The next dividend payment from NAT will be declared in July 2002.
Under the contracts with BP Shipping, NAT achieves rates that correspond to the spot market for modern Suezmax tankers, but not below $ 22,000 per day (T/C equivalent), which is the agreed minimum rate with BP Shipping. The spot market for Suezmax tankers in the first quarter of 2002 (not the NAT vessels) were below the agreed minimum rate with the charterer BP Shipping. The market rate was down compared to the fourth quarter of 2001. The 1st quarter 2002 time charter (T/C) equivalent for the NAT vessel was thus $22,000 compared to $22,617 in the fourth quarter of 2001.
The contracts for the NAT vessels are drawn up in a way that secures income 365 days a year for the vessels and no off-hire. The contracts with BP Shipping commenced on October 1, 1997 and run for minimum 7 years and maximum 14 years if all options are declared.
The full press release including tables can be downloaded from the following link:

Press release