New York - 7 May 2020
International Seaways, Inc. (NYSE: INSW) (the “Company” or “INSW”), one of the largest tanker companies worldwide providing energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products in International Flag markets, today reported results for the first quarter 2020.
• Net income for the first quarter was $33.0 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, compared to a net income of $10.9 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2019. Net income for the quarter reflects the impact of a $2.8 million gain on sale of vessels, a $12.5 million write-off of deferred financing costs, and a $1.0 million loss from the extinguishment of debt. Net income excluding these items was $43.7 million, or $1.49 per diluted share.
• Time charter equivalent (TCE) revenues(A) for the first quarter were $119.7 million, compared to $94.0 million in the first quarter of 2019.
• Adjusted EBITDA(B) for the first quarter was $74.2 million, compared to $47.3 million in the same period of 2019.
• Cash(C) was $110.3 million as of March 31, 2020; total liquidity was $150.3 million, including $40.0 million undrawn revolver.
• Closed on new senior secured credit facilities aggregating $390 million, with proceeds used to refinance $383 million of existing high-cost secured and unsecured debt.
• Repurchased 490,592 shares at an average price of $20.41 per share, for a total cost of $10.0 million.
• Paid first quarterly cash dividend as a public company of $0.06 per share in March 2020.
• Took delivery of a 2009-built LR1, the Seaways Guayaquil.
• Sold and delivered a 2002-built Aframax, the Seaways Portland, and sold a 2001-built Aframax, Seaways Fran.
“Our substantial operating leverage and earnings power were evident in our first quarter results, as we posted our highest quarterly EPS as a public company,” said Lois K. Zabrocky, International Seaways’ President and CEO. “The rate environment strengthened in the second quarter with low oil prices, excess oil supply and the increasing demand for floating storage pushing rates higher. With our sizeable fleet and significant exposure to the VLCC market, we have captured this market strength, which will positively impact our earnings. In addition to strong second quarter bookings to date, we capitalized on the robust rate environment by entering into a number of very favorable time charters. Specifically, we locked-in four time charters for periods ranging from seven to 36 months with major oil producing and trading companies at very attractive rates.”
Ms. Zabrocky continued, “Amid an unprecedented health crisis, ensuring the safety of our on-shore and at sea professionals and providing safe, reliable service to our customers remains our priority. We have taken a number of precautionary steps across our offices and fleet in order to protect our shore-based employees and our seafarers and contractors in response to COVID-19. Although we have faced many disruptions, to date our operations have not been materially affected. In addition to serving these important stakeholders, we are focused on creating lasting shareholder value, executing our disciplined and balanced capital allocation strategy, which included the initiation of a regular quarterly cash dividend and opportunistically repurchasing shares in the first quarter. Importantly, we have maintained our balance sheet strength, which will serve us well in periods of high volatility.”
Jeff Pribor, the Company’s CFO, added, “With the successful completion of our refinancing in January, which reduced annual interest expense significantly and further strengthened our capital structure, we ended the quarter with over $150 million in total liquidity. At a time when our net loan to asset value of our conventional tanker fleet is 42%, which is one of the lowest leverage profiles in the public company shipping sector, our balance sheet strength enabled us to return capital to shareholders, paying a $0.06 dividend and repurchasing $10.0 million of shares during the quarter.”
First Quarter 2020 Results
Net income for the first quarter was $33.0 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, compared to a net income of $10.9 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2019. The increase in the first quarter of 2020 primarily reflects higher TCE revenues and substantially lower interest expense.
Consolidated TCE revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were $119.7 million, compared to $94.0 million in the first quarter of 2019. Shipping revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were $125.3 million, compared to $101.9 million in the first quarter of 2019. Strong TCE rates in the beginning of the first quarter of 2020 were driven by strong tanker demand on the heels of IMO 2020 implementation. Rates subsequently declined as fears of demand destruction related to COVID-19 weighed down on markets, but ultimately finished the quarter very strong as a result of OPEC+ failing to agree on production cuts.
The decline in equity in income of affiliated companies in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019 reflects the Company’s sale of its interest in the LNG joint venture for net proceeds of approximately $123 million in October 2019. Other expense in the first quarter of 2020 includes a prepayment fee of $1.0 million related to the repurchase of the 10.75% Subordinated Notes and a noncash write-off of $12.5 million of unamortized original issue discount and deferred financing costs associated with debt that was paid off or repurchased in January 2020. See “Refinancing and Closing of New Senior Secured Credit Facilities” below. Interest expense includes a noncash loss attributable to changes in the fair value of the interest rate collar associated with the 2017 Term Loan Facility prior to its re-designation on January 28, 2020, totaling $1.3 million.
Adjusted EBITDA was $74.2 million for the quarter, compared to $47.3 million in the first quarter of 2019.
TCE revenues for the Crude Tankers segment were $88.9 million for the quarter compared to $72.6 million in the first quarter of 2019. This increase primarily resulted from the impact of higher average rates in the VLCC, Suezmax, Aframax and Panamax sectors, with average spot rates climbing to approximately $63,800, $42,800, $31,600 and $42,100 per day, respectively, aggregating approximately $34.7 million. Partially offsetting this increase was the impact of a 341-day decrease in VLCC revenue days aggregating $10.6 million. Of the decrease in VLCC revenue days, 301 were related to scrubber installations during the quarter. To date, the Company has completed the scrubber installations on five of its modern VLCCs. Scrubber installations on two additional VLCCs are scheduled for completion during the second quarter of 2020. The scrubber installations on the final three modern VLCCs have been rescheduled to 2021 in part because of COVID-19 impacts and to take advantage of current strong market conditions and to align with the natural drydocking dates for the vessels. Shipping revenues for the Crude Tankers segment were $93.7 million for first quarter of 2020 compared to $80.4 million in the first quarter of 2019.
TCE revenues for the Product Carriers segment were $30.9 million for the quarter, compared to $21.4 million in the first quarter of 2019. This increase primarily resulted from the impact of higher average daily blended rates earned by the LR1, LR2 and MR fleets, with average spot rates rising to approximately $38,600, $28,800 and $20,700 per day, respectively, increasing TCE revenues by approximately $10.1 million in the aggregate compared to the first quarter of 2019. This was partially offset by a $0.6 million decline in TCE revenue arising from the net impact of a 318-day decrease in MR revenue days, resulting primarily from vessel sales and charter-in redeliveries and terminations offset by a 148-day increase in LR1 revenue days primarily driven by the commencement of a two-year time charter-in of a 2006-built LR1 in August 2019, and the purchase of a 2009-built LR1 that delivered in February 2020. Shipping revenues for the Product Carriers segment were $31.7 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared to $21.5 million in the first quarter of 2019.
Vessel Acquisitions and Sales
In February 2020, the Company took delivery of a 2009-built LR1, the Seaways Guayaquil, which the Company agreed to acquire in December 2019.
Additionally, the Company sold a 2002-built Aframax the Seaways Portland, which delivered to its buyer in January, and a 2001-built Aframax, the Seaways Fran, which the Company now expects to deliver to its buyer sometime before the end of the third quarter of 2020.
We currently believe that the second and third quarters of 2020 will likely be a stronger rate environment for tankers, due to excess crude supply and the resulting need for seaborne storage of crude oil and products, than 2021. Accordingly, we are shifting the scrubber installations on three of our modern VLCCs to 2021, aligning such installations with the vessels’ natural drydocking dates. Further, postponing these installations will help alleviate current challenges being faced as a result of extensive travel restrictions instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tanker rates in the second quarter thus far have been highly volatile. Despite the OPEC+ agreement in early April 2020 to cut production substantially beginning in May/June 2020, the total oil being produced is still substantially greater than global demand. This excess production continues the need for tankers to be used as floating storage, and, coupled with increased delays offloading cargoes as shore-based storage fills up, has supported a robust tanker rate environment. This implies significant cash generation in the near term. When supply and demand eventually come back into balance, this could have negative repercussions for tankers as the oil held in inventory will supplant oil tanker transportation demand. In an effort to take advantage of the dynamic oil tanker markets and reduce risk we have opportunistically put four of our VLCCs on time charters for periods ranging from seven months to 36 months at current high rates with major oil producing and trading companies.
Refinancing and Closing of New Senior Secured Credit Facilities
In January, the Company closed on senior secured credit facilities (the “Facilities”), in an aggregate principal amount of $390 million. The Facilities consists of a 5-year $300 million senior secured term loan facility (the “Core Term Loan Facility”), a 5-year $40 million revolving credit facility (the “Core Revolving Facility”), of which $20 million was drawn at closing, and a 2.5-year $50 million senior secured term loan credit facility (the “Transition Facility”). The borrowing under the Core Revolving Facility was subsequently repaid in March 2020.
The proceeds from the Facilities were used to refinance $383 million of existing high-cost secured and unsecured debt of the Company and its subsidiaries. This included repaying the Company’s 2017 Term Loan Facility and its senior secured credit agreement with ABN AMRO and repurchasing the Company’s outstanding 10.75% subordinated notes.
Borrowings under the Core Term Loan Facility and the Core Revolving Facility initially bear interest at LIBOR plus 2.60%, while borrowings under the Transition Facility bear interest at LIBOR plus 3.50%. The margin on the Core Facilities may adjust by 0.20%, based on whether the Company meets certain leverage ratios. The Company currently anticipates that the margin on the Core facilities will decrease to 2.40% by the third quarter of 2020.
The January 2020 refinancing will further reduce annual interest expense by approximately $15 million by lowering the Company’s average interest rates on the refinanced portion of the debt by 3.5% and the overall average interest rates by 2%.
In addition, the Core Facilities include a sustainability-linked pricing mechanism, which is the first of its kind for a NYSE-listed ship owner and operator, which has been certified by an independent, leading firm in ESG and corporate governance research as meeting sustainability-linked loan principles. The adjustment in pricing is linked to the carbon efficiency of the INSW fleet as it relates to reductions in CO2 emissions year-over-year, such that it aligns with the International Maritime Organization’s 50% industry reduction target in GHG emissions by 2050. This key performance indicator is calculated in a manner consistent with the de-carbonization trajectory outlined in the Poseidon Principles, the global framework by which financial institutions can assess the climate alignment of their ship finance portfolios.
Payment of Regular Cash Dividend
The Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share of common stock on February 26, 2020. The dividend was paid on March 30, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 17, 2020.
During the quarter, the Company repurchased and retired 490,592 shares of its common stock in open-market purchases at an average price of $20.41 per share, for a total cost of $10.0 million. The Company has $20.0 million remaining under its existing $30.0 million share repurchase plan, which was reauthorized for 24 months in March 2019.
About International Seaways, Inc.
International Seaways, Inc. (NYSE: INSW) is one of the largest tanker companies worldwide providing energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products in International Flag markets. International Seaways owns and operates a fleet of 40 vessels, including 13 VLCCs, two Suezmaxes, five Aframaxes/LR2s, 13 Panamaxes/LR1s and 5 MR tankers. Through joint ventures, it has ownership interests in two floating storage and offloading service vessels. International Seaways has an experienced team committed to the very best operating practices and the highest levels of customer service and operational efficiency. International Seaways is headquartered in New York City, NY. Additional information is available at www.intlseas.com.
International Seaways, Inc. press release