Nordic American Tankers Limited : Nordic American Tankers Limited (NYSE:NAT) - NAT is well positioned to benefit as market

Nordic American Tankers Limited : Nordic American Tankers Limited (NYSE:NAT) -
      NAT is well positioned to benefit as market fundamentals improve.

Link to the complete 4th Quarter 2012 report:

Hamilton, Bermuda, February 11, 2013

In 2012, NAT improved its relative position within the industry despite a weak
market. By retaining a  strong balance sheet throughout  2012, NAT is able  to 
consider expanding  its fleet  at  a time  when  tankers are  at  historically 
attractive price levels. As announced last month, NAT is paying a dividend  of 
$0.16 a share  for the  fourth quarter  2012.Operating cash  flow[1] for  the 
fleet was $17.5 million for 2012.  During 4Q2012 the operating cash flow  was 
-$1.1 million. The transportation sector,  which is important for the  tanker 
industry, shows a very strong development in the Far East. As an example, new
passenger car sales in China increased from 3.9 million units in 2005 to  15.4 
million in 2012. This is positive for the tanker industry.

NAT achieved an average daily rate of $10,700 during 4Q2012. Rates achieved in
the same period last year were around $12,000 per day. When the market  turns, 
which may happen quickly, the dividend can be expected to increase. Our  fleet 
is in excellent technical and operational condition, and NAT has the financial
resources to maintain it that way. We do not compromise on the quality of  our 
operations.  This helps to ensure the loyalty of our clients, which regularly
includes major oil and energy companies.

The  Company  will  pay  the  dividend  on  or  about  February  13,  2013  to 
shareholders of record as of January 30,  2013. Starting in the fall of  1997, 
when NAT began its operations, the  Company has paid a quarterly dividend  for 
62 consecutive quarters.  Including the  dividend to  be paid  in 1Q2013,  the 
total dividend payments over this period amount to $44.10 per share.

Key points to consider:

  *Earnings per share in 4Q2012 was -$0.39 excluding an impairment charge
    commented upon later in this report, compared with -$0.44 in 3Q2012 and
    -$0.37 in 4Q2011. The impairment charge of $0.22 per share has no cash
    impact. Under a portfolio approach for our homogenous fleet, no impairment
    charge would be required.
  *The Company has agreed to acquire the Orion Tanker Pool 100% as from
    January 1, 2013 for a payment of about $300,000. We continue to build
    stronger commercial relationships with our clients.
  *In November 2012, the Company established a new credit facility of $430m.
    This facility will be in place up to November 2017.
  *We continue to focus on cost efficiency - both in administration and
    onboard our vessels.
  *Spot rates achieved for 4Q2012 were somewhat weaker than 4Q2011. A
    recovery in the world economy and Asian economic growth can be expected to
    improve vessel demand and rates.
  *During the quarter the Company agreed to acquire the management company
    Scandic American Shipping Ltd. There will be no change in the management
    of the Company. Following this transaction, the Chairman & CEO and his
    immediate family are the largest shareholders of NAT. Their interests are
    now fully aligned with those of all other shareholders.
  *"Financial Vetting", or focus on the financial strength of shipowners,
    continues to be an important consideration for clients.
  *We are seeing increased levels of scrapping, curtailing fleet growth.
  *The Company does not engage in any type of derivatives.
  *In October 2012, one of our ships was detained in US waters with
    allegations that maritime rules had been violated. We expect this matter
    to be closed soon with small consequences, including 12 days offhire (out
    of service).

"The Nordic American System"

It is  essential  for Nordic  American  to have  an  operating model  that  is 
sustainable in  both a  weak and  a  strong tanker  market, which  we  believe 
differentiates Nordic American  from other publicly  traded tanker  companies. 
The Nordic  American  System is  transparent  and predictable.  As  a  general 
policy, the Company has a conservative risk profile. Our dividend payments are
important for our shareholders, and at the same time we recognize the need  to 
expand our fleet under conditions advantageous to the Company.

NAT maximizes cash flows by  employing all of its  vessels in the spot  market 
through the Orion Tanker Pool  which increases the efficiency and  utilization 
of the fleet.  The spot  market gives better  earnings than  the time  charter 
market over time.

Growth is a central  element of the Nordic  American System. It is  essential 
that NAT  grows accretively,  which means  that over  time our  transportation 
capacity increases more percentagewise than our share count.

Nordic American has one type of vessel only - the Suezmax vessel. This type of
vessel can carry  one million  barrels of oil.  The Suezmax  vessel is  highly 
versatile, able to be  utilized on most long-haul  trade routes. A  homogenous 
fleet streamlines operating  and administration  costs, which  helps keep  our 
cash-breakeven point low.

The valuation of NAT in  the stock market should not  be based upon net  asset 
value (NAV), a measure that  only is linked to the  steel value of our  ships. 
NAT has its own ongoing system value with a homogenous fleet.

We pay our dividend  from cash on  hand. NAT has a  cash break-even level  of 
about $12,000 per day per vessel, which  we consider low in the industry.  The 
cash break-even rate is the amount of average daily revenue our vessels  would 
need to earn in the spot tanker market in order to cover our vessel  operating 
expenses, cash general and administrative  expenses, interest expense and  all 
other cash charges.

Financial Information

In January 2013, the Board declared a  dividend of $0.16 per share for  4Q2012 
to shareholders of record as of January  30, 2013. The dividend will be  paid 
on or about February 13, 2013. At the time of this report there are 54,825,751
shares outstanding.

Earnings per share was -$0.61 for the fourth quarter, including a $12  million 
impairment charge  for  one  of  the vessels  in  our  fleet.  Excluding  the 
impairment, earnings per share was -$0.39. Applying the tests for  impairment 
to the fleet as a wholewould have resulted in no netimpairment charge.

The Company's operating cash flow was -$1.1m for 4Q2012, compared with  -$3.2m 
for 3Q2012 and $0.0m in 4Q2011. Operating cash earnings per share were  -$0.02 
in 4Q2012, -$0.06 in 3Q2012 and $0.00 in 4Q2011. For 2012 total operating cash
earnings were $17.5 million.

We continue to concentrate  on keeping our vessel  operating costs low,  while 
always maintaining our strong  commitment to safe  operations. We pay  special 
attention to the cost synergies of operating a homogenous fleet that  consists 
only of  double hull  Suezmax tankers.  As we  expand our  fleet, we  do  not 
anticipate that our administrative costs will rise correspondingly. In a  weak 
tanker market  other  tanker  companies  may have  challenges  in  keeping  up 
technical standards as  they cannot  afford to  spend the  required funds  for 
operations and maintenance.

As a matter of policy, the Company has always kept a strong balance sheet with
low net  debt and  a focus  on limiting  the Company's  financial risk.  This 
policy will continue. The new non-amortizing credit facility maturing in  the 
autumn of 2017 creates a good base for long term planning.

The Company is very well placed to take advantage of strong shipping  markets, 
which due to our spot strategy, can  be expected to be reflected in  increased 
dividend payouts immediately.

The  establishment  of  the  Orion  Tanker  Pool  has  resulted  in  a  closer 
relationship with customers and a stronger  position in the market place.  The 
previously announced commercial frame agreement  with a subsidiary of a  major 
oil company is the result  of a more active  marketing policy. We do  business 
with some of the largest oil companies  in the world on a regular basis.  They 
demand quality both at sea and onshore. As of January 1, 2013, NAT has agreed
to acquire the remaining 50% of the  Orion Tanker Pool which will continue  to 
produce improved penetration of the market.

Prices for  newbuildings  and  second  hand tankers  continue  to  be  low  by 
historical standards. NAT is in a good position to buy additional vessels  or 
order new  vessels  at  advantageous  prices when  the  time  is  right.  Such 
acquisitions would increase  the dividend  capacity of  the Company.  It is  a 
prerequisite for any  expansion of the  fleet that our  dividend and  earnings 
capacity per share increase. During 2012 we have inspected several vessels for
possible acquisition purposes. We are in  no rush and we continue to  exercise 
caution in this regard.

In the 4^th quarter 2012, NAT agreed to acquire Scandic American Shipping Ltd.
which was previously owned by the Chairman and CEO for $25m, of which $17m was
paid in  stock. The  transaction  was completed  in  January 2013.  The  main 
rationale underpinning the  acquisition of Scandic  American Shipping Ltd.  is 
above all related to the fact that NAT has gained full control of all  aspects 
of its operations. Among other things this relates to technical and commercial
management and alignment of interests.

Our primary  objective is  to enhance  total return[2]  for our  shareholders, 
including maximizing our quarterly dividend.

As of December 31, 2012, the Company  has net debt of about $7.8m per  vessel. 
The Company has  in place a  new non-amortizing credit  facility of $430m,  of 
which $250m has been drawn at this time. Cash on hand is about $56m.

The credit facility,  which matures  in November of  2017, is  not subject  to 
reduction by the lenders and there is no obligation to repay principal  during 
the term of the facility. The Company pays interest only on drawn amounts  and 
a commitment fee for undrawn amounts.

Our cash breakeven rate is  about $12,000 per day per  vessel which is a  very 
low level in the tanker industry.

The tightened  terms  of  commercial  bank financing  and  higher  margins  on 
shipping  loans  are  challenging  for  shipping  companies  that  are  highly 
leveraged. By having little net debt, NAT is better positioned to navigate the
financial seas,  and  we  believe  this  is  in  the  best  interests  of  our 

For further details on our financial  position for 4Q2012, 3Q2012 and  4Q2011, 
please see later in this release.

The Fleet

The Company has a fleet of 20  homogenous Suezmax vessels at the time of  this 
report. By way of comparison,  in the autumn of  2004, the Company had  three 
vessels. Please  see the  fleet  list below.  We  expect that  the  expansion 
process will continue over time  and that more vessels  can be expected to  be 
added to our fleet. Our vessels are  employed in the spot market. The  average 
age of  our fleet  is 11.6  years.  Our vessels  are in  excellent  technical 
condition - a priority for us.

Vessel          Dwt  Vessel           Dwt
Nordic Apollo   159,999 Nordic Hunter      151,400
Nordic Aurora     147,262 Nordic Jupiter     157,411
Nordic Breeze     158,597 Nordic Mistral   164,236
Nordic Cosmos     159,998 Nordic Moon      159,999
Nordic Discovery  153,328 Nordic Passat      164,274
Nordic Fighter   153,328 Nordic Saturn     157,332
Nordic Freedom 163,455 Nordic Sprite     147,188
Nordic Grace     149,921 Nordic Vega       163,000
Nordic Harrier    151,475 Nordic Voyager     149,591
Nordic Hawk       151,475 Nordic Zenith      158,645
                          Total dwt        3,121,914

The Nordic Harrier (previously  named Gulf Scandic) was  redelivered to us  in 
October 2010. The vessel had been operated by the charterers since the  autumn 
of 2004.  The vessel  had not  been technically  operated according  to  sound 
maintenance practices  by  the  charterer.  Therefore, NAT  has  a  claim  for 
drydocking and other costs that the charterer is obligated to cover under  the 
bareboat charter. As previously advised, the matter is now in arbitration.  We 
expect it to be heard in 2013.

The Company  continues to  install  equipment onboard  the vessels  to  reduce 
energy consumption.

The graph shows the development  of bunker prices in  $/ton. Based on a  daily 
bunker consumption of 50 tons, a fall in bunker prices of $100/ton  represents 
a $5,000 per  day saving  per vessel.  The quantity  and the  cost of  bunkers 
consumed are important  factors for establishing  the time charter  equivalent 

Link to the graph:

We continue to keep high technical quality  of our fleet. Total off hire  (out 
of service) for  4Q2012 was  206 days  for our fleet  of which  157 days  were 
planned off hire.

During 2012, 8 of our vessels were  in planned drydock. We have 6  drydockings 
planned for 2013.  In isolation,  it is  an advantage to  dock a  vessel in  a 
period when tanker earnings are low. In the autumn of 2012 we used extra  time 
in dock to upgrade some of our vessels.

World Economy and the Tanker Market

The outlook for the world economy is uncertain. Seaborne imports of crude  oil 
into the US  decreased over the  recent past.  We do, however,  note that  the 
travel distances of crude oil coming into the US have increased, meaning  that 
ton-miles for crude going to the US has seen a small increase. Going  forward, 
shale oil and tar sand oil projects may impact the US and Canadian oil sector.
These projects are vulnerable  to reduced oil prices.  Demand for vessels  and 
accordingly our freight rates are partly  driven by ton-miles, that is to  say 
that not only volumes  of crude, but also  the voyage distance affects  tanker 
demand. Moreover, recent data indicates  that ton-miles are showing growth  in 
line with the  fleet development for  2013 as  a result not  only of  economic 
recovery but changing trade patterns leading to longer voyages.

The European  economies are  making progress  in agreeing  to uniform  banking 
terms and financial assistance packages. European economies, however, continue
to run  significant  deficits and  face  mounting debt,  while  resistance  to 
deficit reduction  measures remains  strong.  The economies  of the  Far  East 
generally show  continuing growth,  although  at a  slower pace  than  before. 
Annual crude imports  into China  totaled a new  record high  in 2012.  Tanker 
market rates  are  also  affected  by newbuildings  that  enter  the  markets, 
increasing the supply of  vessels. Increased scrapping  impacts supply in  the 
other direction. As a matter of policy the Company does not attempt to predict
future spot rates.

The graph shows the average yearly spot  rates since 2000 as reported by  R.S. 
Platou Economic Research a.s. Over the period 2000/2012 spot rates for Suezmax
tankers were $30,000  or more  per day  for eight  years. The  daily rates  as 
reported by shipbrokers and by Imarex  may vary significantly from the  actual 
rates we achieve in the market, but  these rates are in general an  indication 
of the level of the  market and its direction. In  any analysis of the  tanker 
industry, the direction  of the global  economy is always  the most  important 

Link to the graph:

The Suezmax fleet  (excl. shuttle tankers)  counts 434 vessels  at the end  of 
4Q2012, an increase of 25 since the beginning of the year.

The current orderbook stands as of today at 54 vessels which represent 13%  of 
the Suezmax fleet. At the time of this report, the orderbook for 2014  counts 
only 5 Suezmax  vessels. With  current scrapping activity  and a  lack of  new 
orders there is a good probability that the Suezmax fleet will shrink in 2014,
which is to our favour.

Scrapping activity has increased recently. In 2012, 21 Suezmaxes were scrapped
compared to 8  during the year  2011. Given the  current market conditions  we 
expect to see a further increase in the scrapping activity. 

Corporate Governance/Conflict of Interests

In the fall of 2010 the New York Stock Exchange Commission presented its final
report on corporate governance. The  Commission achieved consensus on 10  core 
principles. These principles include a) building long-term sustainable  growth 
in shareholder value for the corporation as the board's fundamental objective,
b)  the  critical  role  of   management  in  establishing  proper   corporate 
governance, c)  good  corporate  governance  should  be  integrated  with  the 
company's  business   strategy  and   objectives  and   d)  transparency   for 
corporations and investors, sound disclosure policies and communication beyond
disclosure. We believe the principles presented are essential elements of good
corporate governance and the Company is in compliance with these principles.

It is vital for  NAT to ensure  that there is no  conflict of interests  among 
shareholders, management, affiliates and  related parties. Interests must  be 
aligned. We  will work  to ensure  that transactions  with affiliates  and/or 
related parties are transparent.

Strategy going forward

Our objective is to have a strategy that is flexible and has benefits in  both 
a strong  tanker  market and  a  weak one.  If  the market  improves,  higher 
earnings and dividends can  be expected. However, if  rates remain low,  the 
Company is in a position to buy vessels - secondhand vessels or  newbuildings, 
inexpensively by  historical  standards. Therefore,  the  Company is  able  to 
improve its  relative position  in  a weak  market and  is  able to  reap  the 
benefits of a stronger economic  environment thereafter. Over the recent  past 
the Company has improved its relative position.

After an  acquisition of  vessels or  other forms  of expansion,  the  Company 
should be able to pay a higher dividend per share and produce higher  earnings 
per share than had such an acquisition not taken place.

Our dividend policy will continue to enable us to achieve a competitive,  risk 
adjusted cash yield over time compared with that of other tanker companies.

NAT is firmly  committed to  protecting its underlying  earnings and  dividend 

Our Company  is well  positioned in  this marketplace.  We shall  endeavor  to 
safeguard and  further strengthen  this  position for  our shareholders  in  a 
deliberate, predictable and transparent way.

We encourage investors  who seek  exposure to  the tanker  sector to  consider 
buying shares in NAT.

                                  * * * * *

Link to the graph:

[1] Operating cash flow (a non-GAAP measure) represents income from vessel
operations before depreciation and non-cash administrative charges. For
further information, please see reconciliation on page 8.
[2] Total Return is defined as stock price plus dividends, assuming dividends
are reinvested in the stock


Matters  discussed  in  this  press  release  may  constitute  forward-looking 
statements. The Private  Securities Litigation  Reform Act  of 1995  provides 
safe harbor protections for forward-looking  statements in order to  encourage 
companies  to   provide   prospective  information   about   their   business. 
Forward-looking statements  include statements  concerning plans,  objectives, 
goals, strategies, future  events or performance,  and underlying  assumptions 
and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.

The Company desires  to take advantage  of the safe  harbor provisions of  the 
Private Securities  Litigation  Reform  Act  of 1995  and  is  including  this 
cautionary statement  in connection  with this  safe harbor  legislation.  The 
words "believe,"  "anticipate," "intend,"  "estimate," "forecast,"  "project," 
"plan," "potential," "will," "may," "should," "expect," "pending" and  similar 
expressions identify forward-looking statements. Declaration of dividends  is 
solely in the discretion of the Board of Directors and may change from time to

The forward-looking statements in  this press release  are based upon  various 
assumptions, many  of which  are  based, in  turn, upon  further  assumptions, 
including without  limitation,  our  management's  examination  of  historical 
operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available  from 
third parties. Although  we believe  that these  assumptions were  reasonable 
when made, because  these assumptions  are inherently  subject to  significant 
uncertainties and contingencies which are  difficult or impossible to  predict 
and are beyond  our control,  we cannot  assure you  that we  will achieve  or 
accomplish these  expectations,  beliefs  or  projections.  We  undertake  no 
obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.

Important factors that,  in our  view, could  cause actual  results to  differ 
materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include  the 
strength  of  world  economies  and  currencies,  general  market  conditions, 
including fluctuations in charter rates  and vessel values, changes in  demand 
in the tanker market,  as a result of  changes in OPEC's petroleum  production 
levels and world wide  oil consumption and storage,  changes in our  operating 
expenses, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs, the  market 
for our  vessels,  availability  of  financing  and  refinancing,  changes  in 
governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities,
potential liability from pending or  future litigation, factors impacting  the 
declaration  of  dividends,  general  domestic  and  international   political 
conditions, potential  disruption  of  shipping routes  due  to  accidents  or 
political events,  vessels breakdowns  and instances  of off-hires  and  other 
important factors described  from time  to time in  the reports  filed by  the 
Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the  prospectus 
and related prospectus  supplement, our Annual  Report on Form  20-F, and  our 
reports on Form 6-K.

Scandic American Shipping Ltd 
Manager for:
Nordic American Tankers Limited
P.O Box 56, 3201 Sandefjord, Norway
Tel: + 47 33 42 73 00 E-mail:

Jacob Ellefsen, Manager, Investor Relations & Research, Monaco
Nordic American Tankers Limited
Tel: + 377 93 25 89 07 or + 33678 631959

Rolf Amundsen, Advisor to the Chairman, Norway
Nordic American Tankers Limited
Tel: +1 800 601 9079 or + 47 908 26 906

Turid M. Sørensen, EVP & CFO, Norway
Nordic American Tankers Limited
Tel: +4733 42 73 00 or + 47 905 72 927

Gary J. Wolfe
Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, USA
Tel: +1 212 574 1223

4th Quarter 2012 Result


This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson
Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other
applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of
information contained therein.

Source: Nordic American Tankers Limited via Thomson Reuters ONE
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