NAT Chairman Reassures Shareholders, Mulls Expansion
In an open letter to shareholders, Herbjorn Hansson
, Chairman & CEO
of Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) sets out that his company is in a strong position. Selected extracts from the letter follow:
"The company is in a solid financial condition. This is demonstrated by the fact that as of June 30, 2013 our net debt is about $4.4 million per ship. In comparison, at the end of June 2004, at the time when the company turned into and (sic) operating unit, the net debt was about $8 million per ship. Cash on hand, net working capital and undrawn portion of our credit facility is $330 million, representing our financial liquidity reserves June 30, 2013. This allows us to plan for further growth.
In July and August the situation has improved, signaling that results for the third quarter should be better than those for the second quarter. Since July 1st, the IMAREX rates have been above the second quarter level. Towards the end of August weakness is again seen. The actual results for a fleet may differ from the quotations of IMAREX. In an improving market there is a time-lag of two to three weeks before we can benefit from the higher rates.
NAT is now assessing various investments that would allow us to expand profitably. As always, our primary objective is to maximize total return to our shareholders. Over time we have produced a competitive total return for our shareholders and we believe that we are in an excellent position to achieve such results in the future.
My family and I have continued to increase our ownership of shares in NAT this year, evidencing our bedrock confidence in the future of Nordic American. In the offering of April we bought $1.5 million worth of shares for cash and have made additional cash purchases since then. We now have about 5.5% of the shares in NAT and are proud to be the company's largest shareholder."