Harry N. Vafias
TWST: Please start with a history of StealthGas and an overview of your operation.
Mr. Vafias: I founded StealthGas (GASS) in 2005, because I had been in the shipping industry for many years and saw a strong opportunity for me to enter with my own company. When we went public, we had nine ships, and I promised shareholders to triple that in three years. Instead of doing that, we went from nine ships to about 50 ships, and we are now the largest LPG shipper in the world by number of owned gas ships. We are a leader in the LPG segment, so we serve our customers very well, and we can weather even bad economic conditions. Our strategic focus is the 3,000 to 8,000 cbm LPG carrier segment, where we rank number one in owned vessels. Our customers are industrial companies, national energy companies, independent energy companies and major oil companies like Shell and ConocoPhillips.
We are a very conservative company in terms of our finances as well. We have a very small number of loans and all of our vessels are currently chartered. Approximately 38 of our 40 operating vessels are under time-charter contracts, so we have a very low risk in the spot market. We have high earnings visibility and are able to provide high dividends. Right now, our stock is trading well below the company's net asset value.
TWST: Do you service both large and small ports?