General Maritime Q2, Six Mo. 2009 Results

Friday, July 31, 2009

General Maritime Corporation (NYSE:GMR) reported its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2009.

Excluding other expense, the company recorded net income of $7.7 million or $0.14 basic and $0.14 diluted earnings per share for the three months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $20.0 million or $0.52 basic and $0.50 diluted earnings per share for the three months ended June 30, 2008. The decrease in net income excluding other expense was principally the result of lower Time Charter Equivalent rates or TCE realized in the current quarter versus the prior year period as well as lower utilization primarily due to drydocking. Other expense, which includes realized and unrealized gains and losses on freight, bunker and currency derivatives, was $0.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 compared to $15.0 million in the prior year period. Net income was $7.3 million or $0.13 basic and $0.13 diluted earnings per share for the three months ended June 30, 2009 compared to net income of $5.0 million, or $0.13 basic and $0.12 diluted earnings per share, for the three months ended June 30, 2008. The increase in net income was principally the result of the reduction in other expense to $0.4 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 from $15.0 million for the prior year period.

John Tavlarios, President of General Maritime Corporation, commented, "General Maritime's past success expanding and extending its contracted revenue streams continued to provide benefits to shareholders during the second quarter. Specifically, the sizeable time charter coverage that General Maritime maintained during the quarter enabled the Company to achieve a level of stability in its results as tanker rates began to weaken. Going forward, we believe that the Company's future time charter coverage combined with its flexible deployment strategy provides shareholders with revenue and earnings visibility without sacrificing the ability to benefit from an improving rate environment in the future."

Net voyage revenue, which is gross voyage revenues minus voyage expenses unique to a specific voyage (including port, canal and fuel costs), increased 2.2% to $70.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $69.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2008. EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2009 was $37.0 million compared to $25.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2008 (please see below for a reconciliation of EBITDA to net income). The increase was substantially due to an increase in the average size of General Maritimes fleet to 31 vessels for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 from 21 in the prior year period, offset by lower TCE rates and utilization. Net cash provided by operating activities was $31.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $38.3 million for the prior year period. As of June 30, 2009 the Company's net debt (calculated as total long term debt less cash) was $891.9 million.

The average daily TCE rates obtained by the Company's fleet decreased by 26.0% to $27,649 per day for the three months ended June 30, 2009 compared with $37,384 for the prior year period. The Company's average daily rates for vessels on spot charters decreased by 80.4% to $8,157 for the three months ended June 30, 2008 compared to $41,633 for the prior year period.

Total vessel operating expenses, which are direct vessel operating expenses and general and administrative expenses, increased by 16.9% to $33.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2009 from $28.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2008. During the same periods, the average size of General Maritime's fleet increased by 47.6% to 31.0 vessels from 21.0 vessels. Daily direct vessel operating expenses increased 1.4% to $8,358 for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 compared to $8,240 for the prior year period. These increases reflect higher crewing costs, and maintenance and repair costs during the quarter ended June 30, 2009 compared to the prior year period, offset by the low fixed rate vessel management contracts of the Arlington vessels we acquired. General and administrative costs decreased by 23.0% to $9.7 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 compared to $12.6 million for the prior year period. This decrease was primarily attributable to a reduction in personnel costs associated with our New York office as well as a reduction in costs from ceasing to operate a corporate aircraft.

Net income was $26.2 million or $0.48 basic and $0.47 diluted earnings per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $17.9 million, or $0.46 basic and $0.45 diluted earnings per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2008. Net voyage revenues increased 18.0% to $153.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $130.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2008. EBITDA was $85.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $58.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2008. Net cash provided by operating activities was $56.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009 compared to $52.5 million for the prior year period. TCE rates obtained by the Company's fleet decreased 19.2% to $29,227 per day for the six months ended June 30, 2009 from $36,187 for the prior year period. Total vessel operating expenses increased 23.2% to $68.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009 from $55.2 million for the prior year period, and daily direct vessel operating expenses rose 1.9% to $8,299 for the six month period ending June 30, 2009 from $8,145 from the prior year period. During the six months ended June 30, 2009 the average size of General Maritime's fleet grew 49.0% to 31 vessels from 21.0 in the prior year period.

The company's Board of Directors declared a Q2 2009 quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share payable on or about September 4, 2009 to shareholders of record as of August 21, 2009. Including the Q2 2009 dividend, General Maritime has declared cumulative quarterly and special dividends of $21.49 per share.

The company also announced that its Board of Directors has adopted a new dividend policy commencing with the third quarter of 2009. Under the Company's new dividend policy, the Company intends to declare quarterly dividends with a target amount of $0.125 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.

Jeff Pribor, Chief Financial Officer of General Maritime Corporation, commented, "With a new $0.50 per share annual fixed dividend target, the Board has focused on creating a visible and consistent payout supported by the Company's current contracted revenue stream. The adoption of our new dividend target is the result of our Board's voluntary reassessment of our dividend policy based on current market conditions. We believe it will enable General Maritime to continue its tradition of distributing cash to shareholders during a challenging market environment. By implementing a more conservative payout ratio, we believe we have also strengthened our financial flexibility to enter into future value creating transactions and take advantage of strategic growth opportunities. In accomplishing this critical long-term objective, we intend to concentrate on transactions that have the potential to further expand the earnings power of our modern high-quality fleet, strengthen our industry leadership and create enduring value for the Company and its shareholders."

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