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StealthGas' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

This is in contrast with the continuing difficult environment for more shipping companies, whereby fuel our reporting earnings at all. As a result of our focus on the initial LPG market we continue to operate profitability and we have laid solid foundations for the company avoiding any difficult financial position as far many other shipping companies are already in.

Slide number two. As we have said in the past, our medium-term goal is to renew our fleet, buying new vessels and selling older ones. During 2011, we took delivery of the three newbuilding vessels which we then fixed on long-term time-charters.

We also proceeded with the sale of four older ships with an average age of 16 years. During 2012, so far we have sold two vessels, the Gas Tiny in January and Gas Kalogeros in this month, and we have also taken delivery of one newbuilding, the Gas Husky in January and within next month, we will take delivery of our last newbuilding the Gas Esco.

We wish to keep the averages of our fleet low and get rid of the older vessels that operate in the spot markets, so that we improve our contract coverage and operational efficiencies. In terms of leverage, we have always been cautious to maintain more leverage and not to overburden the company.

At the end of the first quarter of 2012, our net debt to capitalization ratio stood at 43% similar to the previous quarter. Our gross debt stood at above $363 million at the end of the quarter, we do not expected to increase any further.

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 2012 stands at 80% with almost 60% fixed for 2013.

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