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StealthGas' CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Then in the third quarter of September 21 we took delivery of the third newbuilding the Gas Myth which we deployed on a three year time charter to a European oil company. We wish to maintain a strong focus on the operational chart and that is the reason behind the sale of these four older ships. We believe that as we remove older vessel from the fleet and replace them with brand new larger, more efficient and high specification ships the overall performance of the company will improve.

We have already seen a healthy interest from charters for using newbuilding vessels and as a result we manage to conclude long term charters for all three of them.

As far as our newbuilding program is concerned we have two more even bigger ships to take delivery of. One is scheduled for delivery January 2012 and the second one May 2012. After taking into consideration the total fleet of 37 ships at the end of third quarter ’11 our net debt to capitalization ratio stood at 44.3%, similar to the previous quarter. Taking into consideration the scheduled vessel deliveries, we estimate that we will continue to have a moderate ratio of below 50%. Our gross debt, which stood at approximately $360 million at the end of the quarter, will peak at about $370 million in the second quarter of 2012. So we do not expect any significant increase in our debt level from the delivery of the next 12 newbuildings in 2012.

We continue to strive to obtain a secure and visible revenue stream with stable and predictable cash flows.

At the moment, fixed employment for our fleet for the remainder of 2011 is at 80%. We have almost 55% fixed already for 2012 and 33% fixed for 2015. We will seek to increase these forward coverage numbers with more long term charters. By the end of the first quarter 2012 we aim to have around 70% of the fleet fixed one year forward. Our first goal has been to own and operate a modern fleet of gas carriers, and in this respect the average age of today is 11 years, not including the tankers that we have, which is rather young compared to the industry average.

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