Hamilton, Bermuda, July 21, 2017
Nordic American Tankers Limited (“NAT”) today announced that the 80th quarterly dividend of NAT (for 2Q2017) is expected to equal $0.15 per share. We commented on the NAT situation in our message of May 29. Going forward, dividend payments are expected to remain a matter of priority. This time the dividend is expected to consist of two parts:
A cash dividend expected to be $0.10 per common share and a partial distribution of shares held by NAT in Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (“NAO”), expected to be equivalent to about $0.05 per NAT share. The basis for the above numbers is the stock price of NAO at the close of NYSE trading on Thursday July 20, 2017.
The record date for the cash dividend and distribution of shares is planned for August 14, 2017. The payment and distribution of shares are expected to take place on or about August 31, 2017. Further details on the distribution of the NAO shares will be announced later.
The Chairman & CEO of NAT, Herbjorn Hansson and his immediate family have recently increased their ownership in NAO to 10.8 %, expressing confidence in NAO. The Hansson family is also one of the largest shareholders of NAT, having bought NAT shares recently.
Herbjorn Hansson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “The strategic, financial and commercial position of NAT is very strong. The net debt of NAT is low compared with other listed shipping companies. Our objective is to have an equity ratio of minimum 80% as measured by the market capitalization of the company as the basis.”
Going forward, NAT wishes to establish a more sophisticated capital structure. Bond financing could be one element in such a structure.
NAT also has under review a borrowing arrangement for the three 2018 suezmax new buildings to be delivered in June, September and October next year. An amount equivalent to 30% was paid cash on contract signature. The balance for the three ships will be paid at the time of delivery.
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