Category Archives: shipping

Dry Bulk Sector Update (BUY): Risk/Reward Still Attractive

As we correctly pointed out in mid-April, share prices were likely to be impact from the falling iron ore prices in 2Q. A similar pattern is developing as this report hits the press, and is key to the way forward for rates and shares in 4Q17E. Nevertheless, the low supply growth leaves us confident in the continued cyclical recovery over the next two years, and we reiterate our BUY recommendation on the Dry Bulk sector as we view the risk/reward as highly attractive in a historical context.

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Oil Tanker Sector Upgraded to HOLD (SELL): Trade on Volatility as Recovery Looms

From being ready to write off the upcoming winter season a very short time ago and looking to mid-2018 for any meaningful recovery in share prices, the recent surge in scrapping has left us with a newfound cautious optimism. Using VLCC spot rates as a benchmark, we see average rates of USD 23k/d in 4Q17E with peaks towards USD 32k/d. We see opportunities for the attentive investor in the short term, but believe shares could revert to current levels or below by mid-‘18E, representing the cyclical inflection point. Also taking into account that most share prices have fallen close to our targets; we upgrade the oil tanker sector to HOLD (from SELL) and believe volatility to be key to monetary success for investors over the next six months. 

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Teekay Tankers (SELL, USD 0.7): Challenging liquidity position ahead of the cyclical trough. TP revised down from 1.2

The company recently announced the acquisition of Tanker Investments in an all-share deal on a NAV-for-NAV basis, leaving TNK’s old shareholders with ~68% of the NewCo. The two companies form a natural fit as TNK owns 11% of TIL and already provides technical and commercial management of TIL’s fleet. We do minor downwards adjustments to our fundamental forecast for oil tankers, and believe any seasonal increase in share prices in 2H17 will be temporary. We reiterate our SELL recommendation and downgrade our target price to USD 0.7/sh (from 1.2)

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LNG sector update: Improving fundamentals

After more than two years of abysmal earnings, we now expect the worst is finally behind us. Although the recent increase in newbuilding contracting as a cause for concern, we remain confident in medium term improvements in earnings, vessel values and share prices. We reiterate our BUY recommendation on the LNG Carrier segment and highlight Flex LNG and GasLog as our top picks.

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LPG-US: Initiation (Neutral, TP 6.9)

Dorian LPG has a fleet of 22 modern Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC) with four on long time charters and the rest by large exposed to the current lackluster spot market. Recent corporate actions highlights the continued necessity of shoring up the balance sheet and ensuring liquidity as we await the cyclical upturn, which we pencil in from 2018E. Although we are positive on the sector outlook, we initiate coverage with a Neutral recommendation and a target price of USD 6.9 (-9%) due to the relatively high cash and P&L break-even levels. Dorian LPG is in our view priced ahead of peers Avance Gas (BUY, TP 28) and BW LPG (BUY, TP 37) in terms of both NAV and earning multiples.

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BWLPG-NO: Initiation (BUY, TP 37)

BW LPG controls a massive fleet of 51 Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC) fully delivered in addition to four LGCs. The company has a history that exceeds most of its peers in addition to a differentiating industrial approach to LPG shipping, which is highly benefitial in the current depressed part of the cycle, but limits the upside in a boom. Having already swallowed recent entrant Aurora LPG, BW LPG remains key consolidator in an industry currently trading far below steel values. We initiate coverage with a BUY recommendation and NOK 37 target price (+23%) ahead of improving fundamentals.

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Dry Bulk: Sector Upgraded to BUY

As we argued in our Dry Bulk: Sector Update in early April, share prices had moved too far too fast, disconnecting from the underlying fundamentals of the early expansionary phase of the cycle. We highlighted that the risk was skewed to the downside ahead of 2Q17E, and we issued three SELL recommendations and four Neutral. Since then, share prices have fallen some 30% before recovering somewhat in recent days, hitting or undershooting our target prices. Although share prices could fall even lower in the coming months, a period which is usually marked by a lull in activity ahead of an active Autumn market, we now find the risk/reward highly attractive. We upgrade the dry bulk sector to BUY (Neutral) and assign a BUY rating to nine of the 11 companies we cover.

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AVANCE-NO: Initiation (BUY, TP 28)

Avance Gas has a fleet of 14 Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC) mainly constructed in China and South Korea. Despite the full spot rate exposure in an abysmal market, the company will retain a robust liquidity position on our estimates ahead of improving fundamentals. Trading at a 18% discount to steel values at the current trough, we see Avance as a prime target for M&A. We initiate coverage with a BUY recommendation and target price of USD 28/sh (+36%).

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TNK-US: Initiation (SELL, TP 1.1)

Teekay Tankers has a fleet of 41 fully owned Suezmaxes and Aframax/LR2s, a 50/50 owned VLCC  in  addition to a handful of chartered in vessels. Despite the recently announced divestment of a 1999-built Aframax at USD 7.5m (vs our generic value at USD 9.7m) and the sale/lease-back of four modern Suezmaxes, we see a significant liquidity challenge through the trough. Assuming an abolition of dividends (5.8% yield annualized on last close) and given the Net-Loan-To-Value of ~77%, we expect further fleet divestment to have limited impact. Given our forecast of continued sliding asset prices, we look to a debt moratorium or further sale/lease-backs for a sustainable solution to take the company through the trough without diluting existing shareholders. We initiate coverage with a SELL recommendation and target price of USD 1.1/sh (-49%).

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FRO-US: Initiation (SELL, TP 3.2)

Representing the backbone of Mr Fredriksen’s oil tanker investments and spanning two decades, Frontline is still going strong after several transformational years from the verge of bankruptcy in early 2015 to the current sturdy fleet growth and pursuit of M&A possibilities. Although adding a 25% premium to underlying values, we still see significant downside to the share price given the lackluster outlook for oil tankers. We initiate coverage with a SELL rating and  target price of USD  3.2 (-51%).

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