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EURONAV: Earnings preview

EURONAV: Earnings preview

16.01.2012 10:22

Tuesday, after market, Euronav (5,4 EUR, -2,17%) will release its 4Q11 results.

Spot VLCC earnings averaged last year at $ 16,856/day, down from the 2010 average of $ 37,929/day. Spot Suezmax rates averaged $ 19,217/day in 2011, down from $ 31,259/day the year before. Secondhand values have weakened significantly as well. The market value of a 5-year-old VLCC declined from about $ 85m at year-start to $ 58m at year end.

Average spot VLCC earnings were about $ 21k/day in H1, peaking at levels over $ 40k/day mid-February and bottoming at close to $ 10k/day in April. Rates averaged at about $ 12.5k/day in H2, dropping below OPEX during the third quarter. Average VLCC earnings bottomed at levels around $ 4k/day in September and started to gradually recover during the final quarter to about $ 25k/day at the end of December. Average spot VLCC earnings were $ 17,759/day in Q4, up from $ 7,620/day in Q3. Last week average VLCC earnings firmed by 18% to $ 31,093/day on Friday.

During the month of November, General Maritime filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. Early December, Frontline proposed a restructuring plan. This restructuring plan includes the acquisition of newbuilding contracts and modern vessels at fair market prices by a new company (Frontline 2012) as well lowering of the TC commitments with Ship Finance International.

In December, Maersk Tankers, Mitsui OSK Lines, Phoenix Tankers, Samco and Ocean Tankers announced intentions to create a new pool controlling around 50 modern VLCCs.
Based upon the assumption of average Q4 TCE (Time Charter Equivalent) rates of $ 14.2k/day for the Euronav VLCC fleet operated spot in the Tankers International pool, we expect Euronav to report revenues and EBITDA for the quarter of $ 91.1m and $ 23.9m. EBIT and the net result are seen at $ -18.0m and $ -37.5m respectively.
In our scenario we have not taken into account any exceptional items. The company will have re-evaluated impairment indicators. These indicators include market value of the fleet (well below book value) as well as long-term asset value calculations (value in use). In addition, Euronav might have renegotiated its newbuild commitments. If and when Euronav would cancel an order, it could result into the loss of advance payments.

At current exchange rates and asset values, Euronav’s NAV is estimated at € 6.66 per share. The current share price of € 5.52 implies a 17.1% discount to NAV, which corresponds to an average decline in asset prices of 4.5%. Following on the recent rally inthe shares, we revise our rating from accumulate to hold keeping the target price unchanged at € 5 PS.

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