StealthGas Inc. Announces Sale of the Gas Texiana and Gas Prophet, New Charter Arrangements.
StealthGas Inc., a ship-owning company serving primarily the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector of the international shipping industry, announced Friday that it will release its fourth quarter and twelve months results for the period ended December 31, 2009 on March 22, 2010 before the opening of the market in New York. On March 22, at 11.00 am DST, the company's management will host a conference call to discuss the results and the company's operations and outlook.
Sale of Gas Texiana and Gas Prophet:
On January 26, 2010 the Company signed a Memorandum of Agreement to sell the Gas Prophet a 1996 built LPG carrier to an unaffiliated entity based in the Far East. The vessel was delivered to her new owners on March 16, 2010.The sale resulted, after associated brokerage costs, in an impairment loss of $0.2 million which is included in the financial results of the Company for the three months ended December 31, 2009.
On February 18, 2010 the Company signed a Memorandum of Agreement to sell the Gas Texiana a 1995 built LPG carrier (formerly the Birgit Kosan) to an unaffiliated entity based in the Far East. Delivery of the vessel to her new owners is scheduled for the second half of March 2010 and the sale will result in a profit after associated brokerage costs of $0.9 million in the three months ended March 31, 2010.
The aggregate sale price of these two vessels was $17.7 million.
The Company also announced the following new charter arrangements:
Commencing from early March 2010 the Gas Shanghai commenced a 20 to 30 day time charter until the beginning of April 2010 to an international gas trader.
Commencing from April 1, 2010 the Gas Chios will commence a one year time charter to a national oil and LPG trading company.
Commencing from April 15, 2010 the Gas Astrid will extend her existing time charter to a Far Eastern oil company for a further twelve months.
Commencing from the end of May 2010 the Gas Marathon has extended her current time charter for a further three months.
Commencing from June 30, 2010 the Gas Exelero will extend her existing time charter to a Far Eastern oil company for a further twelve months.
Commencing from mid June 2010 the Gas Haralambos will commence a three year time charter to a national oil company.
The average time charter equivalent rate for the above five charters is $261,000 per calendar month or circa $8,600 per day.
CEO Harry Vafias commented:
"We are again pleased to announce further period charters which, in the case of the Astrid and Exelero, are renewed to their existing charterer at increased rates than those achieved during their first year of operation following their delivery from the shipyard last year. Plus we have secured employment for a three year period on the Gas Haralambos at an increased rate from her previous time charter and one year employment for the Gas Chios, further enhancing our period coverage going forward. We are also pleased to announce the profitable sale of the Gas Texiana and the sale of the Gas Prophet. The sale of the Gas Texiana will assist our financial performance in the first quarter of this year, and both reported sales will result in the reduction of debt by circa $10.0 million and bolster our cash reserves by $7.3 million. We will continue during 2010 to selectively look to sell some of our older and smaller tonnage to consolidate our already strong financial position, and I look forward to discussing this issue further on our earnings call on the March 22, 2010."