Pyxis Tankers pushes back loan as it dips to quarterly loss

Chief executive Valentios Valentis says chartering activity should be choppy for most of 2017, but could improve toward the end.

Pyxis Tankers revealed that it reached a preliminary deal to push back a key loan maturity as the New York-listed shipowner reported a net loss for the first quarter.

The Greek products tanker owner said the agreement, which is not finalised, will extend the maturity for $25m in debt by four years, until September 2022.

"Once this amendment is in place, the first scheduled balloon payment with respect to our bank debt will be due in the second quarter of 2020, which enhances our financial flexibility," said chief executive Valentios Valentis.

Earnings snapshot

Q1 2017 Q1 2016
Revenue $7.72m $8.45m
Vessel operating expenses $2.97m $3.3m
Operating income (loss) ($1m) $1.78m
Net income (loss) ($1.7m) $1.08m
Earnings (loss) per share ($0.09) $0.06

The figure represents a third of Pyxis's outstanding loan balance. The company finished the quarter with $68.4m in net debt.

Meanwhile, Pyxis reported a net loss $1.7m, reversing a profit of $1.08m a year earlier.

The loss per share of $0.09 was better than Maxim Group's forecast calling for a loss of $0.11 per share.

"Our results for the first quarter of 2017 reflected a continuation of a challenging chartering environment," said Valentis. 

"Spot and period charter rates were volatile during the quarter but improved slightly overall, especially for modern eco-efficient tankers."

Revenue dipped 8.7% to $7.72m, but vessel operating expenses decreased 10.2% to $2.97m.

While Valentis said he expects choppy chartering for most of this year, a longer term improvement could begin toward the end of 2017.

He cited a lower number of deliveries scheduled for the medium range tanker sector as well as projections for solid growth in consumptions and cargoes for export.

Shopping for buys

With that in mind, Valentis still sees acquisition opportunities as a focus for the company.

"The long-term economics are attractive for the acquisition of a quality second-hand MR2 with current vessel prices substantially below 10-year averages," he said.