April 30, 2003
Good first quarter for Maritrans
Chairman Stephen A. Van Dyck commented, "We continue to look forward with optimism to the next several years. I am pleased with our first quarter results, and am confident that our team will continue to deliver for our customers and shareholders. When the barge Ocean States begins her double-hull rebuild this year, our program will pass its half-way mark for transforming our single-hull barges. We are also looking hard at our plans for the two single-hulled diesel tankers in our fleet, as we currently believe that we have an engineering solution for their conversion to OPA compliant double-hulled tankers in conjunction with their 2005 and 2006 OPA retirement dates."
Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2003 was $3.2 million on revenues of $35.9 million. This compares with net income of $3.0 million on revenues of $31.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2002.
On a Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) basis, with direct voyage costs are deducted from revenue, TCE revenue increased 7 percent to $28.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, from $26.9 million in the comparable quarter in 2002.
Maritrans also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per share, payable on June 4, 2003, to shareholders of record on May 21, 2003. During the first quarter, the company purchased 28,742 shares under its authorized share buyback program.
Maritrans says it experienced high utilization in the first quarter of 2003. Demand for marine transportation in the Philadelphia refining area was particularly strong, raising the volumes delivered in the period.
Although the Venezuelan oil strike, refinery maintenance in the Gulf of Mexico region and imports from Europe held spot rates down in the first quarter, cold weather in the eastern United States and low distillate inventories continued to create demand for services throughout the Jones Act fleet.
Changed requirements for octane enhancers in California have also increased demand for the transportation of additives and refined products from the Gulf of Mexico to the west coast.
No vessels were out of service for rebuilding in the period, while the Maritrans 252 and its married tug were out of service for all of January 2002 completing their rebuild projects.
The cost of fuel was significantly higher in the first quarter of 2003 compared to the first quarter of 2002, as a result of fuel price increases.