Triton launches $200m share buyback
Bermudian-based Triton International, the world's largest shipping container leasing company, posted $92.8 million in first-quarter profits, up more than 20 per cent on the same period last year.
The company also announced a new $200 million share repurchase programme.
Brian Sondey, the company's chief executive officer, said the uncertainty over the trade dispute between the US and China had added to first-quarter seasonal weakness, but expects moderate trade growth for this year.
He added that earnings received a one-off benefit in the first quarter from a switch of a large number of containers from a short-term to a long-term lease for a major customer.
This would “impact our leasing revenue in the short term, but lead to an attractive and more secure, long-term value for the containers”, Mr Sondey added.
“New lease transaction activity and container pick-up volumes were slow throughout the first quarter and we have so far limited our purchases of new containers,” Mr Sondey said.
“The first quarter typically represents the depth of the slow season for dry containers, and this typical seasonal weakness has likely been compounded this year by increased uncertainty related to the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China.”
Triton's adjusted earnings were $1.19 per share, comfortably beating the $1.06 consensus forecast of analysts tracked by Yahoo Finance.
Total leasing revenues were $340.9 million, compared to $315.1 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Triton has spent $162 million buying back 5.1 million of its own shares under a repurchase programme launched in August last year. This represents 6.3 per cent of shares outstanding at the start of the period.
On April 25, Triton's board launched the new $200 million programme, replacing the old one.
The board also declared a quarterly dividend of 52 cents per share, payable on June 27 to shareholders of record on June 6.