Pyxis first quarter loss narrows

Valentis

Pyxis Tankers, a growth-oriented pure play product tanker company, announced unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Summary

For the three months ended March 31, 2020, our Revenues, net were $6.6 million and our time charter equivalent revenues increased by $0.2 million, or 3.8%, to $5.0 million compared to the same period in 2019. Net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2020, was $1.2 million, or a loss per share (basic and diluted) of $0.06 which were marked improvements over the same period in 2019. Our Adjusted EBITDA was $1.2 million which represented an increase of $0.7 million over the comparable 2019 quarter. Please see “Non-GAAP Measures and Definitions” below.

Valentios Valentis, Chairman and CEO commented:

“Our operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2020 reflected a better chartering environment and continued cost discipline compared to the same period in 2019. During the first quarter, 2020 our medium range product tankers (“MR”) operated on staggered, shorter-term time charters in order to obtain predictable cash flow, especially in light of the various uncertainties, including those discussed below. The average daily time charter equivalent rates (“TCE”) for our MR’s was $15,400 in the first quarter of 2020. As of June 1, 2020, 100% of available days in the second quarter of 2020 were booked at an average daily TCE of $15,700 for our MR’s. As previously disclosed, we completed the sale of the Pyxis Delta, our 2006 built non-eco tanker, in January 2020. The net proceeds were applied to de-lever our balance sheet, improve liquidity and better position us for growth. During the quarter ended March 31, 2020, our fleet-wide vessel operating expenses were slightly less than $5,700 per day, a 5.6% improvement over the comparable period in 2019.

The first five months of 2020 may be remembered as a period of extreme volatility for the product tanker market. In early January, solid supply/demand fundamentals for the sector provided a favorable outlook at that time. The introduction of the new IMO 2020 fuel regulations had a relatively small impact as ample low-sulphur fuels blends were available worldwide, and the average price of very low sulphur fuel oil in the three major hubs of Singapore, Rotterdam and Fujairah declined more than 60% over the five months based on industry sources. Heading into the Chinese Lunar holidays, the chartering environment was acceptable after a robust winter season. But as February unfolded, unprecedented events started to occur. The rapid spread of COVID-19 quickly and severely took its toll on human life and economies worldwide. Extensive government restrictions on personal and commercial activities dramatically reduced global demand for transportation fuels. This was followed by excess crude oil production, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, which quickly led to a global glut of crude oil and refined products, followed by a collapse of commodity prices. By April, OPEC+ decided to cut its output on a staggered basis starting May 1 through April 2022. Record low crude prices resulted in production curtailments in the U.S., including a significant number of shale oil wells. A sharp upward pricing curve, or contango, for the future delivery of petroleum products rapidly developed, leading to a burst in demand for product tankers and sky-rocketing charter rates. This extreme situation was further compounded by capacity constraints at on-shore storage facilities, port congestion and various arbitrage trades. Temporary floating storage opportunities developed and record spot charter rates were reported by late April 2020. However, improved public safety for prevention of the spread of the virus has led to a gradual re-opening of many economies and return of personal mobility in May 2020 and the start of product inventory withdrawals. Consequently, recent demand for tonnage has quickly fallen, and charter rates have declined to levels still above historical averages.

As the global economies return to a “New Norm” while still managing the uncertain path of COVID-19, we expect the product tanker sector to continue to experience significant volatility for the balance of 2020. Extensive and record-setting monetary and fiscal stimulus programs by major governmental agencies and central banks should help speed global recovery. A return to more normal GDP growth should gradually lead to rising demand for refined petroleum products, led by transportation fuels. Uneven de-stocking of inventories could result in short-term arbitrage trading of cargoes. But while the economic rebuilding occurs from temporary demand destruction, the vessel supply outlook has actually improved. Despite attractive contract pricing from leading shipyards, the ordering of new product tankers continues to be very low. The uncertainty surrounding the near-term chartering environment, expanding environmental regulations, evolving ship designs and limited available capital, continue to constrain ordering activity. The virus has also caused delays at various shipyards for new build deliveries, scrubber retrofits as well as required dry-dockings. Moreover, the aging fleet will lead to more scrapping of older, less efficient tankers and further reduce the worldwide fleet. For example, according to a leading industry source, it was recently estimated that over 6% of the global fleet of MR2 are 20 years of age or more. Consequently, we expect net supply growth for MR’s to be approximately 2% in 2020. We should also point out that lower bunker prices and substantially tighter spreads between high and low-sulphur fuels have narrowed the charter premium for scrubber-fitted vessels, compared to the eco -MR’s found in our fleet. Overall, we continue to be optimistic in the long-term.”

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