Frontline (FRO) Q2 2022 Earnings Name Transcript

August 26, 2022

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Frontline (FRO -2.00%)
Q2 2022 Earnings Name
Aug 25, 2022, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Ready Remarks
  • Questions and Solutions
  • Name Individuals

Ready Remarks:

Operator

Girls and gents, thanks for standing by, and welcome to a Q2 2022 Frontline Restricted earnings convention name. At the moment, all of the contributors are in a listen-only mode. After the audio system’ presentation, there shall be a question-and-answer session. [Operator instructions] I’d now like to show the convention over to CEO, Lars Barstad.

Please go forward, sir.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Thanks very a lot. Good morning, and good afternoon to everybody. Welcome to Frontline’s second quarter earnings name. As talked about in our launch, that is the quarter the place the LR2s took heart stage.

The market tends to neglect that near a 3rd of our vessel days come from this asset class. We began to see the displacement of Russian crude and merchandise additionally affecting the Suezmax this yr within the second quarter. And eventually, the VLCC bought a pulse because the second quarter got here to an finish. Earlier than we get to the Q2 financials and what lies forward.

Let’s take a look on the highlights on Slide 3 and the deck. So within the second quarter Frontline achieved $16,400 per day on LR2, $26,500 per day on our Suezmax fleet, and a really spectacular $38,600 per day on our LR2/Aframax fleet. Thus far within the first quarter of 2022, we’ve the 73% of our VLCC days of $28,100 per day, 73% of our Suezmax days of the stable $45,000 per day, and 62% of our LR2/Aframax days, at much more spectacular for $46,200 per day. All numbers on this desk are on a load-to-discharge foundation and could also be affected by the quantity of ballast days we find yourself having on the finish of Q3.

That is extra related to the VLCCs that usually are likely to go on longer voyages, it often impacts Suezmaxes and to a lesser diploma LR2. With that, I will now let Inger take you thru the monetary highlights.

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Thanks, Lars. And good morning, and good afternoon, women, and gents. Let’s then flip to Slide 5, and take a look at the revenue assertion. This quarter, Frontline achieved complete working income of $159 million and an adjusted EBITDA of $98 million.

The reported web revenue of $47.1 million, or $0.23 per share, and adjusted web revenue of $42.5 million, or $0.21 per share on this quarter. On the right-hand facet of the slide, we present the changes made this quarter, which include an $8.9 million acquire on derivatives, a $6.1 million share outcomes of related firms, a $1.3 million amortization of acquired time charters, a $0.8 million acquire on an insurance coverage declare, $12 million loss on marketable securities, and $0.4 million loss on termination of leases. The adjusted web revenue within the second quarter elevated by $44.1 million in contrast with the primary quarter. And the rise in curiosity in web revenue was pushed by a rise in our time constitution equal earnings as a result of excessive TCE charges within the quarter, however simply partially offset by a rise in ship working bills of $7.5 million, primarily on account of greater drydocking prices and different actions in revenue and bills.

Then let’s check out the steadiness sheet on Slide 6. Whole steadiness sheet numbers have elevated with 304 million within the second quarter in comparison with the primary quarter. The steadiness sheet actions within the quarter are primarily associated to taking supply of the 2 new buildings of VLCCs, Entrance Alta and Entrance Tweed, along with the acquisition of Euronav shares in trade for Frontline shares along with abnormal debt repayments and depreciation. As of June [Inaudible], Frontline had $351 million in money and money equivalents, together with undrawn quantities beneath our senior unsecured mortgage facility, marketable securities, and minimal money necessities.

Let’s flip to take a more in-depth take a look at Slide 7. Maintaining prices down has all the time been in Frontline’s DNA, and core values of the Frontline tax type are holding it easy and centered, and sustaining lean and environment friendly administration groups. This slide reveals that Frontline [Inaudible] on opex, G&A, and curiosity expense. And this along with our efficiency of friends on revenues for no less than two out of three segments this quarter explains the superior operational efficiency of Frontline within the second quarter of 2022.

Then, I feel we should always take a look at Slide 8. That’s the money for our breakeven money era potential slide. We estimate the common money price to breakeven charges for the rest of 2022 of roughly $24,900 per day for the VLCCs, $20,000 per day for the Suezmax tankers, and $17,200 per day for the LR2 tankers. This provides the fleet a median estimate of about $20,700 per day.

The fleet common estimate contains drydock of six vessels within the the rest of 2022, with an influence of about $530 per day. The distribution of those six vessels is 2 VLCCs, one Suezmax tanker, and three LR2 tankers. Within the second quarter, we recorded opex bills, together with drydock of $8,100 per day for the VLCCs, $10,400 per day for the Suezmax tankers, and $8,400 per day for the LR2 tankers. And within the second quarter, we’ve drydocked six vessels, 4 Suezmax tankers, and two LR2 tankers.

The graph on the right-hand facet of this slide reveals the free money circulate per share of the debt service and free money circulate yield foundation the present fleet and share worth on August twenty fourth various TCE charges. Based mostly on historic Clarkson TCE charges for non-ECO vessels within the interval 2000 to 2021, adjusted ebook premiums on scrubber and ECO vessels Frontline has a free money circulate per share of $2.34, and a free money circulate yield of 20%. Free money circulate yield potential will increase with greater assumed TCE charges and absolutely delivered foundation. With this, I go away the phrase to Lars once more.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Thanks, Inger. So let’s transfer on and take a look at Slide 9. And to recap the second quarter. I’ve a primary restricted title right here known as the pivotal level for tankers, Q2 is often as of this quarter additionally known as the shoulder quarter.

However you see on the graph on the backside left one thing occurred as we went into Q2 this yr. So international all demand got here in 700,000 barrels per day decrease in Q2 in comparison with Q1, averaging as much as 98.4 million barrels, and provide got here in 99.1 million barrels per day up a modest 0.2 million barrels per day within the quarter. It is principally the volatility we have seen within the markets in Q2 and the at the beginning on the LR2s is a ton-mile story, and we’re at the moment reaping the advantages of that story that began throughout the second quarter. We’re seeing extremely inefficient buying and selling patterns growing and that is to the advantage of oil in transit and utilization, as we are able to see on the graph on the backside proper.

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Towards the tip of the second quarter, we noticed all Frontline asset lessons, together with the VLCC, begin to transfer up. Asian and particularly Chinese language demand was nonetheless subdued throughout this, however the present stage of exercise paints an attention-grabbing image for the long run thus to come back. Let’s transfer on to Slide 10. So international exports, and what you’re looking up listed below are two charts the place principally it’s the tracked output of oil and merchandise cut up from principally each producing nation on the planet, and each producing — or product producing area on the planet.

We have seen a dramatic change in demand and buying and selling patterns for refined merchandise growing throughout Q2 this yr. I feel folks are likely to neglect that it’s kind of overshadowed by the state of affairs in Ukraine that a lot of the Western world has really absolutely come out of COVID, of the COVID-19 pandemic with the consequences which have on demand. And on the identical time refining capability, significantly in Europe and to some extent within the US, was lowered fairly dramatically throughout the pandemic, the place these areas skilled horrific refining margins. And along with that, we have had the state of affairs with the sanctions on Russia making Russian oil and merchandise tougher to maneuver.

So principally, what we see is that international clear product exports are literally approaching the highs we have seen, and this takes us again to 2017. If we go additional again AIS monitoring isn’t as environment friendly because it has been on this interval, however we’re reaching an all-time excessive in clear merchandise exports globally. International crude oil exports are enhancing. It is lagging, although on the product facet that is however a little bit of the appreciation within the international crude oil exports.

It is primarily attributable to US releases, US manufacturing, and their export capabilities rising. US manufacturing has elevated by 1.4 million barrels year-to-date, based on the EIA. And as most of you’d know, the US is releasing what’s equal to virtually 1 million barrels per day of their SPR, or from the SPR. In — I’d say, writing, however in talking, we at the moment see very excessive demand for tonnage, each within the Center East and within the US Gulf, indicating that this optimistic improvement for freight appears to proceed.

Let’s transfer them to Slide 11. And the order ebook continues to dwindle particularly on the crude facet. There have been no orders for VLCCs or Suezmaxes within the final 12 months. I’ve to right myself there just a little bit as a result of I noticed stories this morning that there have been VLCCs ordered or rumored to be ordered in Japan, however we are going to get again to that.

To be able to get a big change to this image, we’d like way more. On the VLCC facet, we’ve seen 27 vessels delivered year-to-date, and there are nonetheless 21 to come back. A few of these will clearly transfer into ’23. However the complete order ebook is 41 vessels.

We now have a fleet of 861 vessels, of which 81 throughout this yr shall be over 20 years outdated. As soon as this order ebook is completed and delivered, 114 VLCCs shall be above 20 years outdated. On the Suezmaxes, it is much more pronounced, we have seen 25 Suezmaxes delivered this yr. There are eight extra to come back, six subsequent yr, and two in 2024.

That is the 16 complete within the order ebook, and we’ve 65 Suezmaxes that can move this 20-year threshold this yr. And looking out on the time the order ebook delivers, it is a complete of 111 Suezmaxes that may successfully be disqualified from the business buying and selling oil market. On the LR2s, we’ve, in truth, seen some orders positioned this yr. The dealer after all varies, however we have landed on figuring out 13 orders positioned.

And, however nonetheless, I’d argue that that is not an alarming improvement. There are 20 LR2s or no less than vessels which are registered as LR2s which are going to be over 20 years this yr. However in case you, type of heightened the brink just a little bit and put it at 15 years, which for anybody that trades clear merchandise, no is a extra related yardstick. You have got greater than 70 LR2s constructed previous to 2008.

So principally by this order ebook has — when this order ebook has delivered, this can come to age. So we’re not likely that alarmed in regards to the improvement of LR2s facet both. I feel if we take a look at the chart on the highest left facet right here, this has grow to be fairly repetitive over the quarterly shows that we’ve. And the blue line is absolutely the deadweight measurement of the tanker order ebook, and the yellow one is a proportion of the fleet.

And as we are able to see in absolute deadweight, we’re again to 2000, and 2001 interval, and everyone knows that the oil market is far bigger now than it was in 2000. Within the proportion of the fleet, it is much more pronounced the place we have to return to 1996 and even earlier than. I really haven’t got a historical past previous to 1996 on this. So it is tough for me to gauge whether or not we’re early 90s, the mid-90s, or within the ’80s.

However that is an alarming improvement, I’d say. And we’re beginning to see the early indicators that tankers may grow to be a bottleneck within the vitality logistical chain. And I would like so as to add, although, for these of you, not that accustomed to freight and tankers that not each nation on the planet is blessed with oil. And there may be additionally an asymmetrical relationship between inhabitants development and oil assets.

So this transportation want is definitely actual. So let’s examine how this develops. Let’s then transfer over to Slide 12. And I discover this fairly thrilling.

The time constitution market has virtually erupted during the last month. The time constitution of the interval market is an old-school bellwether for big oil transporters’ expectations. These are, as we known as the massive guys, the Shells, the Equinors, the BPs, the Chevrons, the massive boys within the sport that has fairness crude have substantial transportation wants are available in the market, all of them for as much as 3-year commitments on time charters. And to them — even for them, a 3-year dedication is critical.

We now have seen earlier type of within the reporting season, even 5-year charters being concluded. And that is extraordinarily attention-grabbing and very encouraging. That is clearly in step with the spot, but it surely’s not that always that you simply — after a comparatively quick interval of agency spot markets, it’s a type of exercise within the long-term time constitution market. So this principally signifies that our evaluation may be in step with a few of these guys’ analyses.

Frontline will stay a spot-focused proprietor with the target to supply our buyers inventory market returns. Nonetheless, a sure diploma of secured income and margin performs an element in our long-term imaginative and prescient. And as we’ve reported, we’re actively trying on the time constitution marketplace for a few of our asset lessons. So let’s transfer over to Slide 13.

We’re — though it has been pretty quiet from Frontline on this respect for the final couple of months, or really not months final month, I’d say, the Frontline and Euronav mixture is on rails. We’re transferring ahead, principally, the a part of the method we’re in now could be led by authorized and it is extra a regulatory job towards the regulators, and we’re working towards a Frontline relocation submitting to additional relocation of Frontline from Bermuda to Cyprus. That shall be adopted by a young provide. We count on that to occur in This autumn this yr.

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There may be all the time additionally been discussions across the numerous outcomes of this tender provide. I’ve left the reaching lower than 50% acceptance out of this. However clearly, if that ought to occur, we do not imagine it is going to. We predict that is an industrial resolution the market needs, however I simply left that out.

If we get above 75% acceptance among the many Euronav shareholders, we are going to go on to a merger with Euronav. Ought to we, on this case, find yourself between 50.1% and 75%, the result is kind of the identical. Frontline features management of Euronav and a mixture of the 2 complementary platforms shall be created and can carry out principally as one firm, though Euronav shall be veridically a subsidiary of Frontline. So let’s — with that transfer to Slide 14 and a abstract.

So Q2 ’22 was a shoulder quarter within the phrases of oil demand. And actually, Q3 ought to have been the identical, that is in case you observe regular seasonal patterns. That is at the moment a turmoil story with sanctions on Russia being a catalyst, however we could face a structural catalyst on the subject of merchandise. I discussed earlier within the presentation the dislocation between refining capability and demand.

International crude oil exports are approaching pre-COVID ranges and oil in transit is already there. Order books proceed to dwindle, and there may be at the moment no incentive current to spend money on new capability curiosity but. Additionally, there’s a query of when this capability could be prepared for the market ought to the ordering begin now. The opposite query then is, are we beginning to really feel the structural bottlenecks of oil transportation which will come? Frontline has a contemporary, environment friendly spot-exposed fleet, and the celebs want to align and I would add, winter is coming.

I would like to attract your consideration to the chart on the backside, which is totally different from the final three quarters, and it is principally a seasonal chart of the common weighted earnings of all tankers. It isn’t Frontline tanks, it is all of the tankers, principally all of the tanker indices. And as you may discover, it is a very unseasonal sample evolving. And with that, I will open up for questions.

Questions & Solutions:

Operator

[Operator instructions] The primary query is from Jonathan Chappell from Evercore ISI. Please go forward.

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

Thanks. Good afternoon. Lars, two fast questions on capital allocation. Initially, it is good to see the dividend renewed for the primary time.

If we do the mathematics, it appears like possibly a 70% payout ratio has simply been so lengthy. Simply need to get affirmation on a tough vary. After which, the second half to that query is, as we’re going via the ultimate steps of consummating the Euronav transaction, are there any restrictions on the quantity of dividends, or every other company actions you may take till that course of finalize?

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Initially, Inger simply handed me a word right here. I imagine it is up 79%.

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Yeah, as a result of we have to calculate the dividend foundation to 222.6 million shares.

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

OK.

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

And excellent on the finish of the quarter — second quarter, I imply. So then you’ll come to that’s 79%.

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

That is useful.

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Sure.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

And again to your —

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

In order that’s the suitable — go forward.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

And again to your different query, there may be the mixture settlement was made public in July and the trade ratio is about and it is inside that trade ratio that the dividend has been — is being paid. However for future dividends, it must be principally adjusted both through the trade ratio, which could be very unlikely. After which, through the quantity of shareholders that Frontline could have post-merger.

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

My second query for you Lars is, you talked about within the presentation that you have not actually seen China come again to the market but. It appears like Russia continues to be fairly reliant on — I’m sorry, Europe continues to be fairly reliant on Russian crude and the sanctions clearly have not gone into impact but. Is it then — is there any solution to quantify and even qualify what’s pushed this VLCC spike earlier than you might be actually seeing the influence of those two potential large catalysts into the market?

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Properly, first, I want to say that the European and US sanctions on Russian crude haven’t affected the Russian flows per se, but it surely’s altered the buying and selling sample. So, principally, what we see proper now could be that Russian crude oil and Russian merchandise are crusing previous Europe and to Asia. And on the identical time, Europe has needed to change its buy patterns and is importing to a a lot bigger diploma feedstock and merchandise from the Center East, West Africa, and the US. So — and that is what created this extremely inefficient buying and selling sample.

So, it has — type of the sanctions has stopped Russian crude to enter Europe simply so far as we see it. Close to the VLCC, that is a really form current improvement. And I feel it is extra associated to the US manufacturing and the US SPR launch and their export capacities. So — and as , and as I’ve described this earlier than, on earlier calls that the oil market is a bit like a toothpaste tube.

When you press it, the toothpaste will come out someplace. And principally, US [Inaudible] has then priced itself to go far east, principally by the share [Inaudible] quantity being provided. In order that, I feel is the sport changer right here. I additionally suppose to not be too technical, the flattening of the oil curves in a really, very steep backwardation market, it is fairly costly to carry massive volumes of crude oil over a protracted voyage is principally unhedgeable.

However clearly, with the flat construction of the crude oil market. It is easy to hedge your publicity over the 60 days you want as a way to transport crude from say US Gulf to China.

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

OK. That is all very useful. Thanks, Lars, and thanks, Inger.

Operator

Thanks on your query. We are actually taking our subsequent query. The following query is from Chris Tsung from Webber Analysis.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

Hello. Good afternoon. How are you?

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Thanks. Superb.

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Superb, yeah.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

Nice. Thanks. Simply to observe up on that final query. So, are you saying that you’ll proceed to see VLCCs/Suezmaxes for the close to time period, is that proper?

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Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

So principally, what we’re seeing is that no less than the VLCC — when these massive commerce lanes open up as we’ve seen US Gulf to Asia, or to North Asia. You make the most of the vessels for over a really, very lengthy time period. So, it takes away the capability for a very long time. So — and we additionally see the exercise proceed.

Once we repair VLCCs now, we repair them in late September. So principally, the oil shall be lifted in September and delivered to China someday in late October or early November. And this, we see proceed as October dates are already being addressed. This does, nevertheless, create a little bit of a gap within the Suezmax program, as a result of they’re mounted nearer to the loading dates.

However on the identical time, the Suezmax has a whole lot of help from the circulate of crude from each the Center East, however primarily West Africa into Europe. So, we principally see — this appears to be sustaining or possibly even firming.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

OK. Nice. Yeah, thanks for that coloration. That is actually useful.

Simply on to your fleet combine, I do know within the presentation, you guys are usually not new capability to ship, however with these delivering into early subsequent yr and the potential merger with Euronav fleet, which is closely be-weighted. I simply wished to know, is there a need to rebalance your fleet combine, or how ought to we take into consideration that?

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

You might be completely right. It’s to rebalance our fleet combine. And traditionally, Frontline has been a predominantly VLCC firm, secondary having Suezmaxes. And the LR2 additions to our fleet are literally type of within the long-term, pretty new.

We do see them clearly as very environment friendly buying and selling automobiles, and I feel this quarter has a narrative of that. However no, it is a easy evaluation, which we’ve repeated a couple of occasions, however I’m blissful to repeat it once more. When you take a look at the common money break-even Frontline has per vessel class, you additionally then consider the economies of scale in oil transportation. You’ll find that the lid on — or the type of the place the VLCC peaks are a lot greater than, as an example, for the VLCC, and Suezmax, or in comparison with an LR2.

So, it signifies that you get to place a bit in a variable on the extra bang for the buck proudly owning VLCCs in a superb market. And this has principally been from shoppers’ philosophy all alongside. We’re additionally fairly good at working VLCCs and have a superb consumer base in that section. And so, this has principally been type of the place the bread and butter through the years have been gained from Frontline.

So, the Euronav transaction is part of that type of persevering with that story.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

Received it. Nice. Thanks. And simply if I can squeeze in a single final modeling query simply observed your admin prices have been shift a bit this quarter.

Is that this a one-time factor related to the time merger with Euronav versus one thing else?

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Yeah, and you might be proper. We do have some extra skilled charges of — bills associated to skilled charges and authorized prices on this quarter than we normally have associated to this merger.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

OK. So, it would not be just like the run price going ahead is simply barely elevated this quarter and possibly into subsequent?

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Sorry, I did not catch your query.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

OK. I used to be simply saying that this should not be checked out as a brand new run price for admin bills, and it is simply this quarter and subsequent, is it simply going to be barely elevated?

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Properly, I imply so long as we’re within the means of for instance, combining the businesses, I assume you can assume that we are going to even have greater skilled charges and authorized bills within the subsequent quarters to come back.

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

All proper. Yeah, no, it is smart. Thanks, Inger. Thanks, Lars.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Thanks on your query. We are actually taking our subsequent query. Please stand by. The following query is from Omar Nokta from Jefferies.

Omar NoktaJefferies — Analyst

Hello there. Hey, guys. I’ve a few questions for you simply on the Euronav transaction. Clearly, within the second quarter, you probably did a couple of share offers that took your stake as much as round 20% in Euronav.

Is there something that prohibits you from doing extra, assuming the chance exists to take your place greater forward of the tender provide?

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

It’s in truth — and this results in type of transactions, you may name them, have been bilateral, they usually have been type of pushed by incoming to place it that means. There’s a regulatory type of mechanism known as the creeping tender provide. When you proceed to do that, no less than the US legislators will type of arrest you not like bodily, however you’ll — they do not imply it the proper means of going about this. So, that is why we type of stopped there.

Additionally, there are limitations to — once you grow to be a associated occasion and so forth. That is not essentially an enormous challenge for us as we’re very a lot associated via the mixture settlement already. However there isn’t any type of large incentive for us to proceed that path. Or it’s in that path —

Omar NoktaJefferies — Analyst

OK.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Proceed these — or do extra of these transactions.

Omar NoktaJefferies — Analyst

Sure. Received it. That is smart. Respect that.

And I assume that is possibly delicate I perceive if you’re not in a position to reply, however are you having any discussions with the Euronav shareholder that has been vocal in his opposition to the deal, possibly reaching an amicable resolution, or does it simply merely come right down to how the tender provide comes about later within the yr?

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Ultimately, it comes right down to how the tender provide — what occurs after we rely the shares on the finish of the tender provide.

Omar NoktaJefferies — Analyst

Understood. OK. All proper. Thanks, Lars.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Thanks on your query. [Operator instructions] There are not any additional questions in the mean time, I’ll hand again the convention for closing remarks.

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

OK. Thanks very a lot for calling in. Once more, these are thrilling occasions. We’re fairly excited each by the market developments and our ambitions close to the mixture of Euronav.

So, with that, thanks, and have a superb day.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Length: 0 minutes

Name contributors:

Lars BarstadChief Government Officer

Inger KlempChief Monetary Officer

Jonathan ChappellEvercore ISI — Analyst

Chris TsungWebber Analysis — Analyst

Omar NoktaJefferies — Analyst

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