Frontline reported unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
• Net income of $165.3 million, or $0.84 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2020, excluding $7.1 million of net cash receipts and accrued profit share in relation to the five charter-in and charter-out agreements with Trafigura that have been treated as a reduction of the acquisition cost of the vessels.
• Net income adjusted for certain non-cash items of $179.3 million, or $0.91 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2020, excluding the net impact of the item above.
• Declared a cash dividend of $0.70 per share for the first quarter of 2020.
• Reported spot TCEs for VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and LR2 tankers in the first quarter of 2020 were $74,800, $57,800 and $31,200, respectively.
• For the second quarter of 2020, we estimate spot TCE on a load-to discharge basis of $92,500 contracted for 75% of vessel days for VLCCs, $69,500 contracted for 63% of vessel days for Suezmax tankers and $50,200 contracted for 53% of vessel days for LR2s. We expect the spot TCEs for the full second quarter of 2020 to be lower than the TCEs currently contracted, due to the impact of ballast days at the end of the quarter as well as current weaker rates.
• In March 2020, the Company signed a sale-and-leaseback agreement in an amount of $544.0 million with ICBCL to finance the acquisition of 10 Suezmax tankers built in 2019 and closing took place on March 16, 2020.
Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS commented:
“Frontline achieved its strongest first quarter result since 2008 amid an extremely volatile rate environment. We are extremely thankful to our staff and crewmembers for their extraordinary efforts and dedication, which contributed to our results during this challenging period. Our strong performance has carried over into the second quarter, as reflected in our bookings thus far. We have also secured some very attractive time charters and we will continue to explore period charter opportunities going forward. Our market view remains constructive, based on an order book at 25-year lows, an aging fleet and an expectation that oil volumes will return going forward as oil demand recovers. Frontline enjoys historically low estimated daily cash breakeven rates of $18,600 per day on average for our full fleet for the balance of 2020. The tanker market has corrected downwards in recent weeks and faces pressure in the short term, both from production cuts and inventory draws, but we believe we are well positioned due to our strong balance sheet and low cost base.”
The estimated average daily cash breakeven rates are the daily TCE rates the vessels must earn in order to cover operating expenses including dry docks, repayments of loans, interest on loans, bareboat hire, time charter hire and net general and administrative expenses.
Spot estimates are provided on a load-to-discharge basis. The rates quoted are for days currently contracted. The actual rates to be earned in the second quarter of 2020 will therefore depend on the number of additional days we contract, and more importantly the number of additional days that each vessel is laden. Therefore, a high number of ballast days at the end of the quarter will limit the amount of additional revenues booked on a load to discharge basis. Furthermore, when a vessel remains uncontracted at the end of the quarter, the Company will recognize certain costs during the uncontracted days up until the period end, whereas if a vessel is contracted, then certain costs can be deferred and recognized over the load-to-discharge period.
The reporting of revenues on a load-to-discharge basis results in revenues being recognized over fewer days, but at a higher rate for those days. Over the life of a voyage there is no difference in the total revenues and costs to be recognized.
When expressing TCE per day for the first quarter of 2020, the Company uses the total available days for the quarter and not just the number of days the vessel is laden.