Hamilton, Bermuda, February 10, 2016
Earlier this week Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) announced results for the fourth quarter 2015 and the full year 2015, showing the strongest full year cash flow in the company’s history. For 2015 we declared dividends totaling $1.59 per share. Crude oil is plentiful, leading to low oil prices and high demand for tankers. We will repeat what has been said before – low oil prices are a boon for our business.
There are several points worth noting. First, we would like to emphasize that we are not in the energy business. The impact of lower oil prices on oil companies and oil service companies has nothing to do with the transportation of oil. A surplus of oil must be transported or stored, which is beneficial to tanker owners.
Secondly, there are big differences in the transportation market between dry bulk, container shipping, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the tanker business. It is simply wrong to bundle all of these groups together as one.
We have always refrained from commenting on stock prices. In our view investors must ask themselves one key question:
Who is benefitting in today’s market? In our conversations with market participants, we are left with an impression that this question is not asked often enough. One answer to this question can be found in our results. The oil surplus has led to record tanker demand.
Some commentators make statements about the age of our fleet. In many cases we hear things that demonstrate a lack of knowledge and experience about our industry. The reason we share our vetting statistics (inspection of our vessels by clients) in our quarterly reports is to underline the excellent condition of our vessels. Technically, a vessel of 15 years is very much the same as a five year old vessel.
Analysts, bloggers and others are not our customers – the oil companies are. They are highly satisfied with the service we provide. We do not see value in simply having the youngest fleet, since we are in the business of providing returns and yield to our shareholders and providing safe transportation to our customers.
We have remained committed to strong dividend payments and our balance sheet allows us to keep paying dividends in good times and in bad. NAT has a business model that has been proven to generate significant cash flows, even in poor tanker markets. We have only one type of ship in our fleet, the Suezmaxes, which is another competitive advantage of NAT.
As the largest shareholders in NAT, my family and I are very pleased with how the company is performing, and have faith in the fundamentals in the tanker market going forward. Stock markets are subject to fluctuations driven by speculation, fear and greed. Please look at our results, and consider the dividend yield at today’s prices.
I remain in the same boat as you, and we will continue sailing the same course of operational excellence, balance sheet strength and a commitment to maximizing total return, and having an excellent relationship with our customers.
An investor interested in the tanker business, should consider owning shares in Nordic American.
Please feel free to get in touch with any comments or questions at email@example.com
I wish you and your families all the best for 2016.
Chairman & CEO
Nordic American Tankers Limited
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 world wide 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.
Herbjørn Hansson, Chairman & CEO
Nordic American Tankers Limited
Tel: +1 866 805 9504 or +47 90 14 62 91
Gary J. Wolfe
Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, USA
Tel: +1 212 574 1223