TEN falls to $16m loss after writedowns.
Accounting writedowns on its three oldest tankers have pushed Tsakos Energy Navigation to book the first-ever quarterly paper loss in the Athens-based tanker operator"s 16-year history.
A $19.1m impairment charge on two 20-year-old panamax product tankers and a 1991-built aframax left TEN in the red for the fourth quarter of 2009.
The company had been profitable for 64 straight quarters since it was launched as MIF in 1993.
For the last quarter TEN posted a loss of $16.5m, compared with positive net income of $27.6m in the same quarter a year earlier.
Without the impairment charges, the company would have reported a net profit of $2.4m for the last three months of 2009.
TEN had earlier warned it was facing having to recognise impairment charges at the end of the year as the value of older tankers, particularly in the products sector, slumped. The accounts of many other tanker companies have been hit by similar writedowns.
Executives told Lloyd"s List that the 1990-built product tankers Hesnes and Victory III were now considered ?sale candidates? and the writedown could help their future sale prospects.
The third tanker to be written down, the aframax Vergina II, is trading on a charter that is described as being at a solid rate and may escape the chop for the time being.
The result still left TEN comfortably in the black for the full-year with net income of $28.7m, compared with a record $203m profit scored in 2008.
Earlier this week TEN announced a semi-annual dividend of $0.30 per share, bringing the payout for the full year to $0.60 per share, representing the company"s 16th consecutive semi-annual dividend distribution since listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2002.
Revenues from voyages were 28.6% lower compared with 2008, with the company"s average timecharter equivalent rate sinking to $22,329 per day in 2009 from $34,600 per day the year before.
The company"s strategy of fixed employment with minimum base rates and profit sharing agreements as well as pooling arrangements for a number of tankers was held to have helped TEN ?achieve a profitable performance in the soft and unpredictable market experienced through much of 2009?.
Of TEN"s 49 vessels, 31 are under period charters with profit sharing arrangements.