The large tanker market has slid into a depression with current spot rates not evencovering operating expenses. Last week, average VLCC earnings weakened by 17% to $ 4,265/day last Friday.
The IEA is forecasting a y/y increase in oil demand of respectively 1.36% this year and 1.80% in 2012. OPEC production has been restored to pre-Libyan crisis levels with Saudi Arabia making up for the lost output.
Year-to-date the world VLCC and Suezmax fleet have expanded by 5.2% and 6.2%, leaving order books equivalent to 27.2% and 28.8%. While several players are implementing slow-steaming policies, significant scrapping or offshore conversion will be needed to rebalance the market.
Euronav’s net financial debt decreased slightly from $ 1,239.8m at year-start to $ 1,191.5m at end-June. At the time of writing, we estimate the loan-to-value ratio at 66.5% (vs. 80% required).
At current exchange rates and asset values, Euronav’s NAV is estimated at € 9.24 per share. The current share price of € 5.1 implies a 44.8% discount to NAV, which corresponds to an average decline in asset prices of 15.7%.
Given current depressed market conditions and outlook, we have decided to revise our rating from Accumulate to Hold with € 6.0 price target (from € 8.0). The new price target implies a 35.1% discount to NAV, allowing for a further drop by 12.3% on average in asset values.
With all tanker owners suffering a cash drain, the focus today is on newbuild commitments and balance sheet strength (i.e. loan-to-value ratio and cash balance). Based on these parameters, (5,06 EUR, -0,78%) still stands as one of the stronger players in the industry.