Flex LNG posts Q1 financial results

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Flex LNG announced its unaudited financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2024.

Highlights:

* Vessel operating revenues of $90.2 million for the first quarter 2024, compared to $97.2 million for the fourth quarter 2023.

* Net income of $33.2 million and basic earnings per share of $0.62 for the first quarter 2024, compared to net income of $19.4 million and basic earnings per share of $0.36 for the fourth quarter 2023.

* Average Time Charter Equivalent (“TCE”) rate of $76,539 per day for the first quarter 2024, compared to $81,114 per day for the fourth quarter 2023.

* Adjusted EBITDA of $70.6 million for the first quarter 2024, compared to $76.2 million for the fourth quarter 2023.

* Adjusted net income of $37.9 million for the first quarter 2024, compared to $37.8 million for the fourth quarter 2023.

* Adjusted basic earnings per share of $0.70 for the first quarter 2024, compared to $0.70 for the fourth quarter 2024.

* In January and February 2024, the charterer of Flex Resolute and Flex Courageous declared their first options, under the time charters, to extend the firm period of each by an additional two years to Q1 2027. The charterer has one further option on each vessel, which would extend the firm contract period to Q1 2029.

* In April 2024, we successfully completed our scheduled drydocking for Flex Constellation on-time and on-budget. Flex Courageous is scheduled to complete her drydocking on-time and on-budget by end of May 2024.

* In April 2024, the charterer of Flex Endeavour exercised an option to extend the time charter by 500 days from the third quarter of 2030 to the first quarter of 2032.

* In May 2024, Flex Constellation commenced a time charter with a large Asian utility and asset backed LNG trader. The charter has a firm period ending in end of Q1 2025 and an option to extend by an additional one year to end of Q1 2026.

* The Company declared a dividend for the first quarter 2024 of $0.75 per share. The dividend is payable on or about June 21, 2024 to shareholders, on record as of June 10, 2024.

Øystein M. Kalleklev, CEO of Flex LNG Management AS, commented:

“Flex LNG’s first quarter results came in as expected with Revenues of $90.2 million in line with guidance of approximately $90 million. Hence, we are delivering a Net Income of $33.2 million and Earnings per Share of $0.62. Our adjusted numbers, where we primarily adjust for unrealized gains and/or losses on derivatives, were higher with adjusted Net Income of $37.9 million equal to an adjusted Earnings per Share of $0.70.

Revenues came in $7 million lower than during the fourth quarter of 2023, but this was as expected as we recorded lower earnings on the single ship, Flex Artemis, on a variable hire rate, Flex Artemis. The fourth quarter is typically the peak of the LNG freight market, so we tend to generate higher earnings for this ship during this quarter compared to first quarter. Additionally, we took one ship, Flex Constellation, out of service for scheduled drydocking. That said, the Revenues were in line with the Revenues achieved in the first quarter of 2023 for very much the same reasons.

During the year we are pleased to have added substantial backlog through three different charter extensions. The Time Charter agreements for Flex Resolute and Flex Courageous have both been extended from first quarter of 2025 to the first quarter of 2027. The charterer, which is a supermajor, also has an additional option to extend both ships by another two-year period until first quarter of 2029. We also added 500 days to the existing Time Charter for Flex Endeavour with Cheniere, extending the firm period from third quarter of 2030 to first quarter of 2032.

On top of that, we secured a 10 months’ Time Charter for Flex Constellation until end of first quarter 2025 where the charterer has the option to extend this ship by one additional year until end of first quarter 2026. Flex Constellation was redelivered from a Time Charter to us in March and we then elected to carry out the five-year special survey of the ship before putting her into the spot market. However, as communicated in our fourth quarter report in February, we expected somewhat more challenging freight market near term due to the glut of newbuilding deliveries. Hence, we deemed it more attractive for us to charter-out the ship until 2025 possibly to 2026 rather than trading her in the spot market given the numerous ships currently engaged in this trade.

In total we have thus added 6.2 years of new backlog so far this year while we have consumed slightly less than five years from existing contracts which means we have continued to add incremental backlog with the firm backlog currently at 50 years which may increase to 69 years in the event the charterers are utilizing all of their extension options. This attractive backlog gives us a very high level of earnings visibility and also insulate us against any near-term market weakness. Given our backlog of an average of four years per ship, our ships will come open in a window where we consider the market balance to be significantly more favorable as the third wave of LNG is coming on stream from end of 2025 onwards. Furthermore, we also expect a substantial uptick in scrapping of older steam tonnage, which are becoming commercially obsolete, and this will further improve market fundamentals.

Given the solid earnings, the substantial backlog and our strong balance sheet with $383 million of cash and no debt maturities prior 2028, the Board is pleased to announce another quarterly dividend per share of $0.75 equal to a quarterly dividend pay-out of approximately $40 million. This means that we have paid trailing twelve months dividends of $3.125 per share which gives our investors a running yield of about 11 per cent. During the last three years, the total dividend declared and paid has thus grown to $510 million.”