a major international tanker owner and operator today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2002. OMI reported net income of $377,000 or $0.01 basic and diluted earnings per share ("EPS") for the first quarter 2002 compared to net income of $28,378,000 or $0.46 basic and $0.45 diluted EPS for the first quarter 2001
Craig H. Stevenson, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company commented that "We are pleased to record a profit for the first quarter in view of the weakest rate environment for larger crude carriers since the mid - 1980's. While we expected a weak first quarter, substantially warmer than normal weather in the northern hemisphere as well as low natural gas prices, and thus lack of natural gas for oil substitution, resulted in an additional reduction of about 0.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in oil demand compared to the same period a year ago.
Scrapping activity has recently picked up and is presently at a 30,000,000 deadweight metric tons ("dwt"), annualized rate. This increase is due to two factors: regulations, and weak tanker markets. We believe scrapping will continue at a high rate which would result in zero tanker fleet growth and possibly a reduction in the tanker fleet for this year. We are optimistic that beginning in the second half of this year and through 2003 the freight markets will be better, as we expect tanker demand to improve and scrappings to continue, due to age regulations, resulting in little or no growth in the tanker fleet.