As of 03/31/04 (1st quarter 2004) NAT had an operating profit of $15.4 million as against $11.4 million during the same period last year. The net profit for the 1st quarter 2004 was $14.9 million as against $10.9 million in the same period last year. The increase in earnings in the 1st quarter 2004 compared to the same period in year 2003 is a result of tanker rates being stronger this quarter.
Stronger tanker rates and the results for the 1st quarter of 2004 enable the Company to pay a 2nd quarter 2004 dividend of $1.70 per share. Including the dividend for the 2nd quarter of 2004, the total dividend paid so far in 2004 is $2.85 per share. The total dividend paid in 2003 and 2002 were $3.05 and $1.35 per share, respectively. The 2nd quarter 2004 dividend of $1.70 will be paid on or about May 17th to shareholders of record as of April 29th 2004. The next dividend payment from NAT will be declared in July 2004.
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 modern Suezmax tankers in the 1st quarter of 2004 was above the agreed minimum rate the NAT vessels have with the charterer BP Shipping. The 1st quarter 2004 time charter (T/C) equivalent for the NAT vessels was $63,787 per day compared to $51,501 in the 4th quarter, $23,243 in the 3rd quarter and $38,291 in the 2nd quarter of 2003.
The contracts with BP Shipping commenced on October 1, 1997 and will terminate on 1 October 2004 (see below).
The full press release including tables can be downloaded from the following link: