Dorian LPG: Revenues More than Double on Improved Market Conditions

Dorian LPG Ltd., a leading owner and operator of modern very large gas carriers (“VLGCs”), yesterday reported its financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2019.

Highlights for the First Quarter Fiscal Year 2020

• Revenues of $61.2 million and Daily Time Charter Equivalent (“TCE”)(1) rate for our fleet of $29,671 for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to revenues of $27.6 million and TCE rate of $16,553 for the three months ended June 30, 2018.
• Net income of $6.1 million, or $0.11 earnings per basic and diluted share (“EPS”), and adjusted net income(1) of $12.1 million, or $0.22 adjusted diluted earnings per share (“adjusted EPS”),(1) for the three months ended June 30, 2019.
• Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $38.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019.
(1) TCE, adjusted net income, adjusted EPS and adjusted EBITDA are non-U.S. GAAP measures. Refer to the reconciliation of revenues to TCE, net income to adjusted net income, EPS to adjusted EPS and net income to adjusted EBITDA included in this press release.

Repurchase Program

• On August 5, 2019, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $50 million of our common stock through the period ended December 31, 2020.

John C. Hadjipateras, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented, “Our EBITDA is up over sevenfold from last year’s quarter, and our realized TCE nearly doubled compared to the same time period last year. Since the majority of the voyages booked during the quarter are typically performed in the following quarter, we expect the current quarter’s results to show an even greater improvement, assuming no significant market change during the quarter. On the back of the strong market, our board authorized a $50 million stock repurchase program, underscoring our commitment to a sensible capital allocation program. We believe that positive market fundamentals and the continued success of our people to contain costs and optimize operating efficiencies will enable us to generate good returns to our shareholders.”

First Quarter Fiscal Year 2020 Results Summary

Net income amounted to $6.1 million, or $0.11 per share, for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $(20.6) million, or $(0.38) per share, for the three months ended June 30, 2018.

Adjusted net income amounted to $12.1 million, or $0.22 per share, for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to an adjusted net loss of $(22.3) million, or $(0.41) per share, for the three months ended June 30, 2018. Net income for the three months ended June 30, 2019 is adjusted to exclude an unrealized loss on derivative instruments of $6.1 million. Please refer to the reconciliation of net income/(loss) to adjusted net income/(loss), which appears later in this press release.

The $34.4 million favorable change in adjusted net income/(loss) for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to the three months ended June 30, 2018, is primarily attributable (i) to an increase of $33.5 million in revenues, (ii) decreases of $1.2 million in general and administrative expenses, $0.7 million in interest and finance costs, and $0.6 million in vessel operating expenses, (iii) professional and legal fees related to the BW Proposal (defined below) of $0.5 million that did not recur, and (iv) a favorable change of $0.2 million in realized gain on derivatives, partially offset by (v) increases of $2.1 million in charter hire expenses and $0.2 million in voyage expenses.

The TCE rate for our fleet was $29,671 for the three months ended June 30, 2019, a 79.2% increase from a TCE rate of $16,553 from the same period in the prior year, primarily driven by increased spot market rates along with a reduction of bunker prices. Please see footnote 6 to the table in “Financial Information” below for information related to how we calculate TCE. Total fleet utilization (including the utilization of our vessels deployed in the Helios Pool) increased from 83.6% in the quarter ended June 30, 2018 to 98.4% in the quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Vessel operating expenses per day decreased to $8,052 in the three months ended June 30, 2019 from $8,334 in the same period in the prior year. Please see “Vessel Operating Expenses” below for more information.

Revenues

Revenues, which represent net pool revenues—related party, time charters, voyage charters and other revenues earned by our vessels, were $61.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, an increase of $33.6 million, or 121.3%, from $27.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. The increase is primarily attributable to an increase in average TCE rates and fleet utilization. Average TCE rates increased from $16,553 for the three months ended June 30, 2018 to $29,671 for the three months ended June 30, 2019, primarily as a result of higher spot market rates during the three months ended June 30, 2019 as compared to the three months ended June 30, 2018 along with a reduction in bunker prices. The Baltic Exchange Liquid Petroleum Gas Index, an index published daily by the Baltic Exchange for the spot market rate for the benchmark Ras Tanura-Chiba route (expressed as U.S. dollars per metric ton), averaged $62.337 during the three months ended June 30, 2019 compared to an average of $26.390 for the three months ended June 30, 2018. The average price of heavy fuel oil (expressed as U.S. dollars per metric tonnes) from Singapore and Fujairah decreased from $433 during the three months ended June 30, 2018 to $414 during the three months ended June 30, 2019. Our fleet utilization increased from 83.6% during the three months ended June 30, 2018 to 98.4% during the three months ended June 30, 2019.

Charter Hire Expenses

Charter hire expenses for the vessel that we charter in from a third party were $2.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019. No such costs were incurred during the three months ended June 30, 2018.

Vessel Operating Expenses

Vessel operating expenses were $16.1 million during the three months ended June 30, 2019, or $8,052 per vessel per calendar day, which is calculated by dividing vessel operating expenses by calendar days for the relevant time-period for the vessels that were in our fleet. This was a decrease of $0.6 million, or 3.4%, from $16.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. Vessel operating expenses per vessel per calendar day decreased by $282 from $8,334 for the three months ended June 30, 2018 to $8,052 for the three months ended June 30, 2019. The decrease in vessel operating expenses for the three months ended June 30, 2019, when compared with the three months ended June 30, 2018, was primarily the result of a $0.5 million, or $255 per vessel per calendar day, decrease in repairs and maintenance costs.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses were $6.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, a decrease of $1.2 million, or 15.0%, from $7.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. The decrease was due to reductions of $0.8 million in cash bonuses to certain employees, $0.3 million in stock-based compensation, and $0.1 million in other general and administrative expenses. The reduction in cash bonuses to certain employees was due to a shift in the timing of approvals during the three months ended June 30, 2019 compared to the prior year period.

Professional and Legal Fees Related to the BW Proposal

In 2018, BW LPG Limited and its affiliates (“BW”) made an unsolicited proposal to acquire all of our outstanding common stock and, along with its affiliates, commenced a proxy contest to replace three members of our board of directors with nominees proposed by BW. BW’s unsolicited proposal and proxy contest were subsequently withdrawn on October 8, 2018 (the “BW Proposal”). Professional (including investment banking fees) and legal fees related to the BW Proposal were $0.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. No such costs were incurred during the three months ended June 30, 2019.

Interest and Finance Costs

Interest and finance costs amounted to $9.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, a decrease of $0.7 million, or 6.5%, from $10.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. The decrease of $0.7 million during this period was due to a decrease of $0.6 million in interest incurred on our long-term debt, primarily resulting from a decrease in average indebtedness, and a reduction of $0.1 million in amortization of deferred financing fees. Average indebtedness, excluding deferred financing fees, decreased from $768.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018 to $707.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019. As of June 30, 2019, the outstanding balance of our long-term debt, net of deferred financing fees of $13.3 million, was $680.8 million.

Unrealized Gain/(Loss) on Derivatives

Unrealized loss on derivatives was approximately $6.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to an unrealized gain of $1.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. The unfavorable $7.8 million change is attributable to changes in the fair value of our interest rate swaps caused by changes in forward LIBOR yield curves and reductions in notional amounts.

Realized Gain/(Loss) on Derivatives

Realized gain on derivatives was approximately $1.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to $0.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018. The favorable $0.2 million change is attributable to increases in floating LIBOR resulting in realized gains on interest rate swaps related to the $758 million debt financing facility that we entered into in March 2015 (as amended) with a group of banks and financial institutions.

Fleet

The following table sets forth certain information regarding our fleet as of August 1, 2019.

Market Outlook & Update

For the second calendar quarter of 2019, the Baltic Index averaged $62 per metric ton, compared to an average of $30 per metric ton in the first calendar quarter. The Baltic VLGC Index began the quarter at $41 per metric ton, increasing to $78 per metric ton at quarter end. For the third calendar quarter of 2019 to date, the Baltic Index has averaged $75 per metric ton.

Year-to-date through July, U.S. LPG exports have grown year-over-year by 22% to 22.5 million tons and Middle East exports have grown on the same basis 3.5% to 22.6 million tons. For the first time, U.S. and Middle East volumes were equal. Our expectation is that the U.S. exports will grow faster than those from the Middle East. U.S. propane inventories continue to push towards the higher-end of their 5-year range, having reached 80 million barrels on July 26th, 21.4% higher than last year, which was almost equal to the percentage increase in exports.

North American export capacity continues to expand, further supporting global LPG trade. Altagas’ new Ridley Island terminal on the west coast of Canada is now exporting two cargoes per month, while Enterprise expects its LPG Marine Terminal expansion to be ready by the end of September 2019 followed by an even more substantial expansion by the third calendar quarter of 2020. Targa Resources announced an expansion project of 200 million barrels per day by next year, while Energy Transfer Partners announced scheduling changes for this summer to facilitate vessel loadings and increased refrigeration capacity for their Nederland terminal by September 2020. Sunoco’s Marcus Hook terminal has maintained a strong loading schedule, exporting 9 VLGC cargoes in April, 10 in May, and 9 in June.

In April 2019, European and Asian benchmark propane prices climbed, while Mont Belvieu prices fell. Throughout the quarter, prices continued to fall in all three major regions, dropping below 50% of Brent in Northwestern Europe and the Far East. Despite a fall in crude prices and naphtha, propane remained a key feedstock for the petrochemical industry in the West as the propane-naphtha spread averaged around $130 per metric ton over the quarter.

In China, several new PDH plants are anticipated to start up in the second half of 2019 with potential LPG demand of 700,000 tons per annum per facility. In South Korea several steam crackers were down for maintenance at the beginning of the second calendar quarter of 2019, limiting import demand. However, with several cracker expansions, propane consumption in Korean steam crackers is similarly expected to rise in the latter half of the year.

With ballast water treatment regulations coming into effect this September and the IMO 2020 regulations at the beginning of 2020, the global fleet will be evolving with major equipment retrofitting. The global fleet currently contains 35 VLGCs that are 20 years of age or older, with a similar number of vessels in the orderbook. Given the significant investments required for compliance, we believe that owners of older tonnage may not find the investment proposition attractive and thus may consider scrapping. With a stable orderbook of approximately 12% of the global fleet, we believe that the market should remain relatively balanced.

The above summary is based on data derived from industry sources, and there can be no assurances that such trends will continue or that anticipated developments in freight rates, export volumes, the VLGC orderbook or other market indicators will materialize.

Seasonality

Liquefied gases are primarily used for industrial and domestic heating, as a chemical and refinery feedstock, as a transportation fuel and in agriculture. The LPG shipping market historically has been stronger in the spring and summer months in anticipation of increased consumption of propane and butane for heating during the winter months. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns in these months tend to disrupt vessel scheduling and the supply of certain commodities. Demand for our vessels therefore may be stronger in the quarters ending June 30 and September 30 and relatively weaker during the quarters ending December 31 and March 31, although 12-month time charter rates tend to smooth these short-term fluctuations and recent LPG shipping market activity has not yielded the expected seasonal results. To the extent any of our time charters expire during the typically weaker fiscal quarters ending December 31 and March 31, it may not be possible to re-charter our vessels at similar rates. As a result, we may have to accept lower rates or experience off-hire time for our vessels, which may adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results.

Full Report

Source: Dorian LPG Ltd.