Hamilton, Bermuda, February 18, 2020
- Our Net Profit for 4Q2019 came in at $12.7m against a Net Loss of $13.7m for 3Q2019 and a Net Loss of $10.5m in 4Q2018.
- Today we announce distribution of our 90th consecutive quarterly dividend. The dividend for the fourth quarter of 2019 will be 7 cents ($0.07) per share, payable on March 16, 2020, to shareholders of record March 2, 2020. In the previous quarter we paid a dividend of 2 cents ($0.02) per share.
- Developments so far in the first quarter of 2020 confirm the momentum in the tanker market. Although rates have eased recently, we believe the outlook for 2020 remains solid. A stronger market going forward will form the basis for increased dividends. Please also see paragraph 5 below.
- The balance between increased dividend and reduction of debt is a central Risk Management question. In addition to the increased dividend, NAT has since our 3Q2019 report reduced long-term debt with about $20 million, further strengthening our balance sheet. The company’s long-term debt to total assets ratio is about 37%, which is among the lowest in the industry.
- The average Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) achieved for the fourth quarter of 2019 across our fleet was about $31,700 per day per ship. So far in 1Q2020 about 70% of the trading days of our 23 suezmax units have been booked at an average TCE of $53,000 per day per ship. This is a strong improvement and an encouraging signal for increased dividend payments. Our operating costs are about $8,000 per day per ship.
- Recently we have seen several events come and go, such as the trade negotiations between the US and China and the tensions in the Middle East. These events now seem like a distant past.
- The tanker market was showing solid strength before these events and the positive developments continued in 2020. The Corona virus is now grabbing the headlines. The virus could have a negative impact in the short term. New regulations (IMO 2020) and muted supply of ships have in itself created a strong base for a solid future for the tanker industry.
- The quality of the NAT fleet is first rate, reflected in the vetting record of our ships. Vetting is the assessment of oil companies to establish the technical and operational quality of our fleet. All our ships are running on IMO compliant fuel.
- For the full report and detailed financial information for this and other periods please see link below.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements 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 Company desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. The words “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “potential,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “expect,” “pending” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, our management’s examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe 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, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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 fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the tanker market, as a result of changes in OPEC’s petroleum production levels and worldwide oil consumption and storage, changes in our operating expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the market for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events, vessels breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the prospectus and related prospectus supplement, our Annual Report on Form 20-F, and our reports on Form 6-K.
Gary J. Wolfe
| Bjørn Giæver, CFO
Nordic American Tankers Limited
Tel: +1 888 755 8391 or +47 91 35 00 91
Herbjørn Hansson, Chairman & CEO