Crude Carriers Corp. (NYSE: CRU) reported its financial results and declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share for the second quarter ended June 30th, 2010. These results are based on 267 total fleet available days due to the staggered delivery schedule of the vessels to the company during the quarter. Had all five vessels that comprised the company’s fleet at the end of June 2010 been delivered at the beginning of the quarter, total fleet available days would have been 455. On March 17 2010, Crude Carriers completed its initial public offering (“IPO”) of 13.5 million common shares at $19.00 per share, raising net proceeds of approximately $277.8 million including the capital contribution of $40 million of our sponsor which was made upon the completion of our IPO pursuant to the Subscription Agreement in exchange of 2.1 million shares of the Company’s Class B Stock at $19.00 per share. On April 23, the company entered into a $150 million revolving credit facility with Nordea Bank Finland Plc, London Branch (Nordea Bank). The combined offering proceeds, in addition to total draw downs of $134.6 million under the revolving credit facility, were used to fund the acquisition of our fleet (see Table 1). The company has also secured at no cost a 12-month option to purchase one additional 2010 built VLCC at the acquisition price of $108 million plus delivery costs. The option is exercisable at the sole discretion of the Company's Board of Directors, and is expected to expire on June 2, 2011.
Mr. Evangelos Marinakis, the company’s CEO commented: “I am very pleased with our first quarterly earnings report as a public company. We announced strong results for the second quarter of 2010 and a substantial cash dividend despite having in operation only 2.9 out of 5 vessels of our fleet on average during the quarter. We believe this is a testament of the earnings and dividend payment capability of our fleet, and chartering strategy.
“Importantly, we also announced today a spot index related time charter agreement with Shell for one of our VLCCs, which further demonstrates our ability to leverage our network of relationships with oil majors, maintain our exposure in the spot crude tanker market and ensure 100% utilization for the vessels employed under these charters. In addition, our new charters allow us to share 50% of any additional revenues earned by Shell in excess of the indices’ performance. We intend to seek to enter into similar spot related time charters for a number of our vessels in our fleet so that we can further align our company’s revenues with developments in daily spot charter rates in the VLCC and Suezmax tankers segments.
“We remain optimistic about the long term crude tanker fundamentals and are committed to our strategy of growing our fleet and returning to our shareholders all our available cash generated by deploying our vessels in the spot market.”
The company’s net income for the quarter was $5.7 million or $0.37 per share. Gross voyage revenues amounted to $20.7 million, as increased demand for crude oil tankers resulted in high spot rates during the quarter. Specifically, the average Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) earnings for our VLCC and for our Suezmax vessels on operation during the quarter were $65,785 and $32,613 per day respectively. Total operating expenses were $14.2 million which including voyage expenses of$8.7 million, comprised mostly of bunker costs, operating expenses of $2.5 million, depreciation of $2.4 million and general and administrative expenses of $0.6 million. Net interest expense and finance cost for the quarter was $0.7 million.
Quarterly Dividend Declaration of $0.50 per share
Crude Carriers announced that its Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share for the period of April 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010. The cash dividend is payable on August 31, 2010 to all shareholders of record on August 20, 2010. The Company’s dividend policy as discussed in its IPO prospectus is to pay a variable quarterly dividend based on its cash available for distribution during the previous quarter. Cash available for distribution is a non US GAAP financial measure described on Appendix A of this press release.
Extension of Revolving Credit Facility (the Facility) to $200 million and Option to ‘Term Out’
Crude Carriers also announced that it has reached an agreement with Nordea Bank in the form of a commitment letter to:
a) Extend the amount available under the facility from $150 million to $200 million.
b) Extend the repayment period of any acquisition loans under the facility to within 12 months from the date of the respective drawdown.
c) Have the right to convert, at the Company’s option, any indebtedness outstanding at the end of the initial 12 month period into a term loan (Term Out Option).
Amendments a) – c) remain subject to the execution of definitive documents and satisfaction of conditions precedent and a) is subject to successful underwriting of the additional $50 million by Nordea Bank.
Crude Tanker Market Overview
The spot crude tanker market posted a solid second quarter for both VLCCs and Suezmaxes as seaborne crude oil imports grew, predominantly on the back of increased demand from Asia and, in particular China and India and to a lesser extend from the stronger than expected demand figures emerging from the US. According to independent reports, Chinese and Indian crude oil imports are expected to continue to grow in 2010, with a substantial portion of these imports being sourced from long haul destinations such as the Atlantic Basin. The beginning of the third quarter saw a correction in the rates experienced throughout the second quarter and is more in line with the seasonal pattern usually associated with the summer months.