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Danaos Corporation Reports 74% Increase of First Quarter Net Income, as the Container Market Rallies

Danaos Corporation, one of the world’s largest independent owners of containerships, reported unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Highlights for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2021:

Adjusted net income of $58.0 million, or $2.83 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $33.3 million, or $1.34 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020, an increase of 74.2%.
Operating revenues of $132.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $106.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, an increase of 24.4%.
Adjusted EBITDA1 of $96.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $71.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, an increase of 33.9%.
Total contracted operating revenues were $1.2 billion as of March 31, 2021, with charters extending through 2028 and remaining average contracted charter duration of 2.9 years, weighted by aggregate contracted charter hire.
Charter coverage of 91% for the next 12 months based on current operating revenues and 88% in terms of contracted operating days.
Initiated a regular quarterly dividend with a dividend of $0.50 per share of common stock for the first quarter of 2021. The dividend is payable on June 9, 2021 to stockholders of record as of May 27, 2021.

Danaos’ CEO Dr. John Coustas commented:

“The dramatic turnaround and strength of the market which we experienced in the beginning of the year continues unabated, if not stronger. The continuation of the pandemic and the ensuing slowdown in the terminal operations have exacerbated demand and the liner sector is at the limit of its capacity. The blockage of the Suez Canal further contributed to the disruption in the supply chain and conditions will likely not normalize before the end of the year, possibly after the peak season.

Liner companies are reporting record profits and, more importantly, are signing multi-year contracts at significantly higher levels which will keep their profitability at elevated levels. On the non-operating owners front, charter rates have skyrocketed to levels not seen for at least 10 years and what is more important duration has been significantly increased so that vessels over 4,000 TEU can secure 4+ years employment at very healthy levels.

This euphoria due to the sharp increase in rates and confidence that the market will remain strong has led to a dramatic increase in newbuilding ordering. As a result, the orderbook now stands at 17% of the existing fleet which is higher compared to the 9% nadir at the end of 2020 but still much lower than the 50% it reached in 2008.

Fortunately, the lack of shipyard capacity and the hesitance of many market participants to order vessels with conventional fuel propulsion both are inhibiting factors for new orders and are keeping a lid on excessive ordering. In any event, the recently ordered vessels will not deliver until at least 2023, and the next two years should be lean in terms of fleet supply growth. We believe that the expected strong demand growth post pandemic will comfortably absorb the existing orderbook.

As far as Danaos is concerned we are currently in the best ever position and reaping the benefits of the current market environment. On April 12th we completed our refinancing on very competitive terms and also positioned the company successfully in the US bond market, giving us access to a very significant pool of capital. The amortization profile of our debt is resulting in significant free cash flow for growth opportunities.

The stellar performance of the liner sector had a number of significant consequences for us. First, our shareholding in ZIM is today valued at around $400 million. Secondly, the dramatic cash flow generation of Zim and HMM induced them to redeem early the bonds which we were holding so we will have a $75 million cash injection in the second quarter of 2021. Thirdly, the liner sector performance also eliminates counterparty risk for the foreseeable future.

On the chartering front every fixture we concluded was done at a new record level. These fixtures are beginning to take effect and we expect to see improved metrics for every single quarter for this year.

Our strong financial standing and optimistic view for the future has led the Board to decide to reinstate a fixed quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share. Danaos has been repositioned as a growth company and has handsomely rewarded its shareholders through a dramatic share appreciation of greater than 1,000% since our November 2019 equity offering. We believe that our new fixed dividend will both expand our shareholder base to a new group of yield driven institutional investors and also enhance liquidity of the stock.

All the right steps that the company has undertaken in the last couple of years have been greatly appreciated by the market and we will continue along the same path in the future.”

Three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2020

During the three months ended March 31, 2021, Danaos had an average of 60.0 containerships compared to 55.7 containerships during the three months ended March 31, 2020. Our fleet utilization for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was 98.6% compared to 91.3% for the three months ended March 31, 2020. Adjusted fleet utilization, excluding the effect of 188 days of incremental off-hire due to shipyard delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, was 95% in the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Our adjusted net income amounted to $58.0 million, or $2.83 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $33.3 million, or $1.34 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020. We have adjusted our net income in the three months ended March 31, 2021 for the change in fair value of our investment in ZIM of $247.9 million, a non-cash fees amortization and accrued finance fees charge of $5.0 million and stock-based compensation of $4.1 million. Please refer to the Adjusted Net Income reconciliation table, which appears later in this earnings release.

The increase of $24.7 million in adjusted net income for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2020 is attributable mainly to a $25.9 million increase in operating revenues, a partial collection of common benefit claim of $3.9 million from Hanjin Shipping, a $2.5 million decrease in net finance expenses and a $0.3 million increase in the operating performance of our equity investment in Gemini Shipholdings Corporation (“Gemini”), which were partially offset by a $7.9 million increase in total operating expenses.

On a non-adjusted basis, our net income amounted to $296.8 million, or $14.47 earnings per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to net income of $29.1 million, or $1.17 earnings per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Operating Revenues
Operating revenues increased by 24.4%, or $25.9 million, to $132.1 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $106.2 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Operating revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2021 reflect:

a $10.5 million increase in revenues in the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2020 due to the incremental revenue generated by the newly-acquired vessels; and
a $15.4 million increase in revenues in the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2020 mainly as a result of higher charter rates and improved fleet utilization.
Vessel Operating Expenses
Vessel operating expenses increased by $5.1 million to $31.1 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $26.0 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020, primarily as a result of the increase in the average number of vessels in our fleet and by an increase in the average daily operating cost of $5,954 per vessel per day for vessels on time charter for the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $5,522 per vessel per day for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The average daily operating cost increased mainly due to the COVID-19 related increase in crew remuneration in the three months ended March 31, 2021. Management believes that our daily operating cost remains among the most competitive in the industry.

Depreciation & Amortization
Depreciation & Amortization includes Depreciation and Amortization of Deferred Dry-docking and Special Survey Costs.

Depreciation
Depreciation expense increased by 4.9%, or $1.2 million, to $25.8 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $24.6 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020 mainly due to the acquisition of five vessels and installation of scrubbers on nine of our vessels in the year ended December 31, 2020.

Amortization of Deferred Dry-docking and Special Survey Costs
Amortization of deferred dry-docking and special survey costs increased by $0.2 million to $2.5 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $2.3 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020.

General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses increased by $5.1 million to $10.9 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021, from $5.8 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020. The increase was mainly due to a $4.6 million increase in stock-based compensation and increased management fees due to the increased size of our fleet.

Other Operating Expenses
Other Operating Expenses include Voyage Expenses.

Voyage Expenses
Voyage expenses increased by $0.2 million to $4.2 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $4.0 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020 primarily as a result of the increase in the average number of vessels in our fleet.

Interest Expense and Interest Income
Interest expense decreased by 7.4%, or $1.2 million, to $15.1 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $16.3 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020. The decrease in interest expense is attributable to:

(i) a $2.0 million decrease in interest expense due to a decrease in average cost of debt service by approximately 1.5%, which was partially offset by a $70.3 million increase in our average debt (including leaseback obligations), to $1,614.5 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to $1,544.2 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020; and

(ii) a $0.8 million increase in the amortization of deferred finance costs and debt discount related to our debt.

Our total outstanding debt as of March 31, 2021, reflects an additional amount of $300 million relating to our Senior Notes issued in February 2021, with net proceeds of $294.4 million placed in an escrow account. These net proceeds were used, together with the net proceeds from a new $815 million senior secured credit facility and a new $135 million leaseback arrangement, each drawn in April 2021, to refinance a substantial majority of our outstanding senior secured indebtedness on April 12, 2021. See “Recent Developments”.

As of March 31, 2021, our outstanding debt, net of $294.4 million escrowed net cash proceeds from the Senior Notes and gross of deferred finance costs, was $1,306.8 million and our leaseback obligation was $117.5 million compared to our outstanding debt of $1,396.3 million and our leaseback obligation of $134.3 million as of March 31, 2020.

Interest income increased by $0.3 million to $2.0 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $1.7 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Change in fair value of investments
The change in fair value of investments of $247.875 million relates to the change in fair value of our shareholding interest in ZIM, which completed its initial public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange of its ordinary shares on January 27, 2021. We currently own 10,186,950 ordinary shares of ZIM, which were valued at $247.95 million as of March 31, 2021 compared to the book value of these shares of $75 thousand as of December 31, 2020.

Other finance costs, net
Other finance costs, net decreased by $0.2 million to $0.4 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $0.6 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Equity income on investments
Equity income/(loss) on investments increased by $0.3 million to $1.8 million of income on investments in the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to a $1.5 million income on investments in the three months ended March 31, 2020 due to the improved operating performance of Gemini, in which the Company has a 49% shareholding interest.

Loss on derivatives
Amortization of deferred realized losses on interest rate swaps remained stable at $0.9 million in each of the three months ended March 31, 2021 and March 31, 2020.

Other income, net
Other income, net was $4.0 million in income in the three months ended March 31, 2021 compared to $0.2 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020. The increase was mainly due to the collection from Hanjin Shipping of $3.9 million as a partial payment of common benefit claim and interest.

Adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA increased by 33.9%, or $24.4 million, to $96.3 million in the three months ended March 31, 2021 from $71.9 million in the three months ended March 31, 2020. As outlined above, the increase is mainly attributable to a $25.9 million increase in operating revenues, a partial collection of common benefit claim of $3.9 million from Hanjin Shipping and a $0.3 million increase in the operating performance of our equity investees, which were partially offset by a $5.7 million increase in total operating expenses. Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2021 is adjusted for change in fair value of investments of $247.9 million and stock based compensation of $4.9 million. Tables reconciling Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income can be found at the end of this earnings release.

Dividend Payment

On May 10, 2021 we declared a dividend of $0.50 per share of common stock for the first quarter of 2021, which is payable on June 9, 2021 to stockholders of record as of May 27, 2021. We intend to pay regular quarterly dividends on our common stock. Payments of dividends are subject to the discretion of our board of directors, provisions of Marshall Islands law affecting the payment of distributions to stockholders and the terms of our credit facilities, which permit the payment of dividends so long as there has been no event of default thereunder nor would occur as a result of such dividend payment, and will be subject to conditions in the container shipping industry, our financial performance and us having sufficient available excess cash and distributable reserves.

Recent Developments

On April 12, 2021, the Company refinanced a substantial majority of its outstanding senior secured indebtedness with the proceeds from a $815 million senior secured credit facility with Citibank N.A. and National Westminster Bank plc, a $135 million sale leaseback agreement with Oriental Fleet International Company Limited, an affiliate of COSCO Shipping Lease Co., Ltd., with respect to five vessels, and the net proceeds of the Company’s February 2021 offering of $300 million of 8.500% Senior Notes due 2028.
Source: Danaos Corporation

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