Hamilton, Bermuda, August 19, 2016
A person, Stanislav Oleynikov, wrote the article with the heading “Nordic American Tankers Is Heading Into A Perfect Storm” earlier this week. The person says in the article that he is short the NAT stock, i.e. he has commercial interest that the price of the NAT stock goes down. NAT is absolutely not in a storm. Below is our reaction to him:
Dear Mr Oleynikov,
The management of NAT are not in the guessing game or speculation business. Our experience over many decades is that it is impossible to predict the future tanker market, both in the short term and in the long term. Our goal is, and has always been, to be the best tanker company in both good and bad markets, but we never bet on a rising market.
I see from your disclosure that you are short the stock. History has proven that shorting the tanker market when rates are at opex level can be a dangerous bet. We ask ourselves; how much can the rates fall and how much can they rise?
Our Chairman has a good statement about the tanker market: “always expect the unexpected”.
We are conservative and will always run our company with a low risk approach. We have never been in distress or had to restructure due to a weak markets or the age of our fleet.
Needless to say, we have enjoyed a great relationship to the largest shipping banks in the world and our leverage level is healthy. At the same time we have managed to grow our fleet significantly over the last few months as the overall industry struggles to make new investments.
We believe it is completely irrelevant to compare NAT to other shipping companies that have other asset classes, higher leverage, different business strategy and do not have the track record in public markets.
It is well known in the capital market and in the industry that the current spot crude tanker market is weak. We believe this fact is reflected in the share prices as news travel fast in today’s market.
We believe NAV is a wrong indicator for shipping investors. It is more than the value of each individual ship that counts when valuing a company. One important component to consider is how well management have performed over time. The bigger the discount the less confident the market is about management. NAT is proud to be a premium company and we will work hard to continue to build on the trust we have in the investor community over many years.
We continue to focus on cash flow and total return over time, not the age of our assets but the cash yield they return over time. Strong operational track record and close relationship to key customers are more important than the age of the fleet.
Since NAT was publicly listed more than 20 years ago, no other company has performed better than us and we are nearly the only company still around from the inception. Our Chairman has been in the business since 1974.
Going forward, we believe our recent vessel acquisitions will increase our total return and create more values for our shareholders.
Turid M. Sørensen
Nordic American Tankers Limited
CFO & EVP
Direct: +47 33 42 73 04
Cell: +47 90 57 29 27
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