NAT Earnings Hit by Volatile Tanker Market

Affected by a volatile tanker market the Bermuda-based tanker owner Nordic American Tankers (NAT) ended 2016 with a net gain of USD 32.8 million, down from USD 114.6 million seen in the previous year.

The company’s net operating earnings were at USD 53.3 million by the end of the year, compared to USD 128 million the company reached a year earlier.

Although NAT saw a net loss of USD 1.8 million in the fourth quarter of the year, against a net gain of USD 30.1 million in the same period a year earlier, the company said that it performed “very well” during the quarter. The Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) stood at USD 21,600 during the three-month period ended December 31.

So far, 2017 has started at levels well above the fourth quarter with a TCE of USD 25,000, NAT said, adding that the company is now “reaping the benefits of increasing our fleet over the last few years.”

In the autumn of 2016 the company raised a total of USD 120 million of capital through an equity offering. Subsequently, NAT entered into agreements with Samsung Heavy Industries in October 2016 for the construction of three Suezmax tankers of about 157,000 deadweight tons to be delivered during the second half of 2018. The newbuildings are expected to be financed mostly with proceeds from the offering, cash from operations and with debt.

“Growth of a homogenous Suezmax fleet is a key success factor for NAT. The three additional newbuildings will increase the fleet by 10%, enlarging dividend and earnings capacity,” NAT said.

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