General Maritime 4Q and 2008 Results

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

On Feb. 25, General Maritime Corporation (NYSE:GMR) reported its financial results for the three months and full year ended December 31, 2008.

Excluding the $3.2m of other gain and $34m in compensation accruals in connection with the company's executive transition plan as well as litigation costs in connection with the Genmar Defiance, the company recorded net income of $19.3m or $0.47 basic and $0.45 diluted earnings per share for the three months ended December 31, 2008. Net loss was $11.5m or $0.28 basic and $0.28 diluted loss per share, for the three months ended December 31, 2008, compared to net income of $5.2m, or $0.13 basic and $0.13 diluted earnings per share, for the three months ended December 31, 2007. The decrease in net income was principally the result of increased G&A expense for Q4 2008. Included in G&A was the compensation accrual described above for $30m in respect of termination and bonus obligations in connection with the termination of our former chief executive officer's employment agreement with the company at the time of completion of the Arlington Tankers transaction and a payment in lieu of a bonus for 2008. These expenses also include the litigation costs described above for $4m in connection with the Genmar Defiance litigation reflecting potential fines and penalties as well as legal fees and expenses and a write-off of insurance claims. Also contributing to the decrease in net income was an increase in direct vessel expenses. Other gain for the quarter of $3.2m included a $4.8m unrealized non-cash gain associated with the change in fair value of our freight derivatives as well as a $1.3m loss associated with the monthly cash settlements of our freight derivatives offset by $0.3m of additional other expense.

John Tavlarios, President of General Maritime Corporation, said, "During 2008, General Maritime drew upon its sizeable contracted revenue stream to post strong financial results and meet its dividend target. Complementing this success, the company also furthered its tradition of entering into transactions that we believe create long-term value for shareholders. Importantly, General Maritime achieved fleet growth during a challenging economic and credit environment by adhering to its strict return criteria and without increasing the company's leverage. In successfully completing the combination with Arlington Tankers, management created a company of a size and scope, and with a dividend structure, balance sheet, chartering strategy and vision that we believe positions the Company well for the future."

Net voyage revenue, which is gross voyage revenue minus voyage expenses unique to a specific voyage (including port, canal and fuel costs), increased 32.1% to $72.6m for the three months ended December 31, 2008 compared to $55m for the three months ended December 31, 2007. Excluding the compensation accruals and litigation costs described above, EBITDA for the three months ended December 31, 2008 was $47.6m compared to $25.7m for the three months ended December 31, 2007 (please see below for a reconciliation of EBITDA to net income). Net cash provided by operating activities was $25.6m for the three months ended December 31, 2008 compared to $16.2m for the prior year period.

The average daily time charter equivalent for vessels on spot charters increased by 10.6% to $31,132 for the three months ended December 31, 2008 compared to $28,157 for the prior year period. The Company's spot Aframax vessels earned $29,908 and the Company's spot Suezmax vessel earned $37,573 for the quarter ended December 31, 2008.

Excluding the compensation accruals and litigation costs described above, total vessel operating expenses, which are direct vessel operating expenses and general and administrative expenses, increased by 17.3% to $29.1m for the three months ended December 31, 2008 compared to $24.8m for the three months ended December 31, 2007. During the same periods, the average size of General Maritime's fleet increased 17.5% to 23.5 vessels from 20 vessels in the prior year period. Daily direct vessel operating expenses increased 11.9% to $7,871 per vessel day during the fourth quarter of 2008, from $7,032 per vessel day during the same period in 2007. The increase was attributable to higher crew costs and insurance as well as higher costs for lubricating oil and maintenance and repair. Excluding the compensation accruals and litigation costs described above, General and administrative expenses increased 1.7% to $12.1m for the three months ended December 31, 2008 from $11.9m in the prior year period.

Net Income excluding other expense and compensation accruals and litigation costs described above was $74.7m or $1.89 basic and $1.84 diluted earnings per share for the full year ended December 31, 2008.

Net income was $29.8m or $0.76 basic and $0.73 diluted earnings per share, for the full year ended December 31, 2008 compared to $44.5m, or $1.09 basic and $1.06 diluted earnings per share, for the full year ended December 31, 2007. Net voyage revenues increased 25.2% to $271.7m for the full year ended December 31, 2008 compared to $216.9m for the full year ended December 31, 2007. Excluding the compensation accruals and litigation costs described above, EBITDA was $150m for the full year ended December 31, 2008 compared to $117.2m for the full year ended December 31, 2007 (please see below for a reconciliation of EBITDA to net income). Net cash provided by operating activities was $114.4m for the full year ended December 31, 2008 compared to $95.8m for the prior year period. TCE rates obtained by the company's fleet increased 9.2% to $35,896 per day for the full year ended December 31, 2008 from $32,876 for the prior year period.

Daily direct vessel operating expenses per vessel for the year ended December 31, 2008 increased 17.8% to $8,064 compared to $6,844 for the prior year period. The year over year increase in daily direct vessel operating expenses per vessel is primarily attributable to higher crew costs, as well as higher maintenance and repair and higher insurance costs. Excluding the compensation accruals and litigation costs described above, General and administrative expenses remained substantially flat at $46.3m for the year ended December 31, 2008 compared to $46.9m for the prior year period. Summary Consolidated Financial and Other Data

All share and per share amounts presented here, unless otherwise noted, have been adjusted to reflect the exchange of 1.34 shares of the Company's common stock for each share of common stock held by shareholders of General Maritime Subsidiary Corporation (formerly known as General Maritime Corporation) in connection with the Arlington combination.

As of February 25, 2008, General Maritime Corporation's fleet was comprised of 31 wholly owned tankers, consisting of 2 VLCC, 11 Suezmax, 12 Aframax 2 Panamax and 4 Products tankers, with a total carrying capacity of approximately 3.9 million deadweight tons, or dwt. The average age of the Company's fleet as of December 31, 2008 by dwt was 8.6 years compared to 8.9 years as of December 31, 2007.

Currently, seven of General Maritime Corporation's Aframax tankers and one of its Suezmax tankers are operating on the spot market. 74% of the Company's fleet, consisting of 2 VLCC, 10 Suezmax, five Aframax, two Panamax, and four Products tankers are currently under time charter contracts, compared to 62% of the fleet under time charter contracts as of December 31, 2007.

The company's primary area of operation is the Atlantic basin. The company also currently has vessels employed in the Black Sea and Far East to take advantage of market opportunities and to position vessels in anticipation of drydockings.

While the company remains in compliance with our 2005 Credit Facility, it recently amended the facility to accelerate the amortization of a portion of the outstanding commitment from October 26, 2009 to February 24, 2009 and to pledge the Genmar Daphne as collateral under the facility. This had the effect of reducing our debt to collateral ratio under the facility's covenants, which is intended to bolster our continuing ability to remain in compliance with these covenants.

On February 23, 2009 the Company's Board of Directors declared a Q4 2008 quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share payable on or about March 20, 2009 to shareholders of record as of March 6, 2009. Under the Company's dividend policy, the Company intends to declare quarterly dividends with a target amount of $0.50 per share. The declaration of dividends and their amount, if any, will depend upon the results of the Company and the determination of the Board of Directors.

On December 16, 2008 General Maritime Subsidiary Corporation (then known as General Maritime Corporation) combined with Arlington Tankers Ltd. to form the new General Maritime Corporation. In accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, General Maritime Subsidiary and Arlington each became wholly-owned subsidiaries of Galileo Holding Corporation (renamed General Maritime Corporation). All outstanding shares of both companies were exchanged for shares of General Maritime. Arlington Tankers shareholders received one share of General Maritime common stock for each share of Arlington Tankers common stock, and General Maritime Subsidiary shareholders received 1.34 shares of General Maritime common stock for each share of General Maritime Subsidiary common stock.

As part of the Combination E. Grant Gibbons a former Arlington Tankers director joined the General Maritime Corporation Board of Directors. Dr. Gibbons has been a member of the Bermuda parliament since 1994. From 1995 to 1998, Dr. Gibbons served as the Bermuda Minister of Finance and, from 1998 to 2006 served as the opposition shadow Minister of Finance. Dr. Gibbons was the leader of the opposition United Bermuda Party 2001 until 2006. Dr. Gibbons serves as a director of Gibbons Management Services Limited, an internal services division of a diversified, privately-held business, as Deputy Chairman of Colonial Group International, an insurance company operating in Bermuda and the Caribbean, and as a director of several other private companies. He is also a director of Syncora Holdings Limited, a financial guarantee insurer. Dr. Gibbons is a citizen and resident of Bermuda.

As of February 25, 2009 the company has entered into interest rate swap transactions with an aggregate notional amount of $579.5m to manage interest costs and the risk associated with changing interest rates.

Jeff Pribor, Chief Financial Officer of General Maritime Corporation, commented, "General Maritime continues to maintain both the financial strength and commitment to enter into future value-creating transactions for shareholders. Building upon our past success returning $1b to shareholders, we intend to concentrate on areas which have served the company and its shareholders well throughout the shipping cycles. Specifically, we intend to continue to explore opportunities to utilize our ample liquidity to further consolidate the industry and expand our fleet and earnings power. During a time when we have targeted a $2.00 fixed annual dividend, we also intend to opportunistically repurchase shares when we believe our stock is undervalued and utilize our cash flow to further reduce debt until the right acquisition is identified."

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