Nordic American loss narrows to $10.5m
Nordic American Tankers made a loss of $10.5 million in the fourth quarter, which was an improvement on the previous quarter when it reported a loss of $37.9 million.
The Bermudian-registered company has concluded refinancing with CSG Investment, funded by Beal Bank, in Texas, which it says has created a new capital structure allowing greater flexibility for dividend payments. The $306 million, five-year deal, has allowed Nordic American Tankers to retire, in full, its previous revolving credit facility.
In a statement, the company said the financing “will contribute to a competitive cash break-even rate for NAT. More importantly, the new loan allows NAT greater financial flexibility”.
The company added: “With this new US-based debt facility, together with the three 2018 new buildings financed by a leasing arrangement with Ocean Yield, all long-term financing is now in place for NAT. The debt level of NAT has always been among the lowest in the industry.”
The company has a fleet of 23 Suezmax tankers. At the end of 2018, its debt stood at $15.5 million per ship.
Nordic American Tankers is increasing its quarterly dividend from one cent to four cents, to be paid next month, which will be the 86th consecutive quarterly distribution by the company.
In the fourth quarter it had a time charter equivalent, TCE, of $20,100 per day per ship, compared to $12,000 in the third quarter. The average market rate during the past 25 years was about $30,000 per day per Suezmax ship.
For the fourth quarter, Nordic American Tankers’ net operating earnings was $5.4 million, and adjusted net operating earnings were $23.6 million.
Looking ahead, the company said: “The world economy is enjoying its strongest upswing since 2010. What is good for the world economy and world trade is by nature positive for the crude oil tanker business. In addition to the role of major oil companies, large oil traders have become important for the tanker industry.”
Regarding its own strategy, the company said it is “built on expanding and maintaining a homogenous and top-quality fleet, leveraging on our industry network and close customer relationships with big oil. Employment of our ships with big oil is a priority”.
Disclosure: the author owns shares in Nordic American Tankers