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StealthGas' CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

This shows once again a significant improvement in the LPG market in contrast with the continuing difficult environment for more shipping companies where by few reporting earnings at all. As a result of our focus in the niche LPG market, we continue to operate profitably and we are confident that the fundamentals in our core segment point further market improvements in the future.

We have laid solid foundations for the company and improved our cash position which shall enable us to continue looking for strategic opportunities to control our freight and increase our market share.

Let’s begin our presentation with slide number two. As we have said in the past our medium term goal is to renew our fleet, buy new vessels and sell older ones. During 2012, we completed our newbuilding program to deliver our latest newbuildings, the Gas Husky and the Gas [Esco] in June. From 2011 we have taken delivery of five brand new LPG vessels and over the last five years we have taken delivery of 12 new brand new LPG vessels, all from Japanese shipyards. We also sold two vessels so far this year, the Gas [Lyne] in July and Gas Kalogeros in May.

We wish to keep the average age of our fleet low and still gradually older vessels that operate in the spot market, so what we improve our contract coverage in operational efficiencies. More than vessels that are more appealing to charters and can achieve savings of at least 10% on operating expenses.

In terms of leverage we have always been cautious to maintain more than leverage. At the end of the second quarter 2012 our net debt to capitalization ratio is 47.8% and we will maintain it at the region of 50%. Our data is approximately at 360 million and we do not expect it to increase any further for the time being. Our company's newbuilding program has been completed after the delivery of 12 brand new ships from Japan since 2007 and there are no remaining capital expenditure requirements.

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